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Treasure Valley Relay for Life raises money for the American Cancer Society

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jun 29, 2024

MERIDIAN, Idaho — In 1985 Dr. Gordon Klatt started the Relay for Life by going around a track for 24 hours in Tacoma. Now, the Relay for Life is a global initiative to fight back against cancer.

On Saturday, the Treasure Valley hosted its Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society, but also show survivors that they don't have to fight this terrible disease by themselves.

Survivors coming together

"I think it is very important to show the survivors of cancer and those currently walking through their journey that they are not alone," said Maryann Rogers, one of the organizers. "It's a fundraiser for cancer research, patient support and awareness."

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and unfortunately, cancer survivor Susan Franks-Wilson knows that all too well.

Susan works one of the booths

"My mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer that spread to her lungs and she passed away while she I was still on chemo," said Susan. "My dad passed away from a tumor he had in his brain and my late husband passed away from a rare form of t-cell lymphoma."

Susan enjoys coming together with other survivors and the community. She's committed to the cause and does whatever she can to help, including walking to earn her survivors medal.

Survivors walk in the Relay for Life

"It means a lot and all the dollars we can raise for the American Cancer Society to help with the research to eradicate this horrible disease is our main goal," said Susan.

COVID set this initiative back and locally organizers are trying to rebuild. This year they had 22 teams participate which ended up being about double the amount from last year for this important cause.

"It helps provide a touch point for the community to gather together and build that sense of community while also raising awareness for cancer," said Warren Maxfield of the American Cancer Society in Idaho. "The Relay for Life is one of the key revenue sources for the American Cancer Society."

If you would like to donate or contribute your time to this organization locally, click here.