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American Cancer Society Relay For Life celebrates 25 years PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

To our friends from the Relay For Life of Phillips County,

I want to congratulate and thank you for your hard work and dedication to making the Relay For Life a reality in your community. The Phillips County Relay For Life is in its eighth year and has raised over $310,000 since it began in 2002!

Like you, I was once frustrated at the news of too many I knew and loved being diagnosed with cancer. It was simply too much for me to sit back and watch my family, friends and patients suffer.

In 1985, I decided to do what I could to fight back. I was an avid runner at the time and thought that perhaps there was a way that I could use my own two feet to draw attention to a cause so close to my heart. On that cool May night 25 years ago, I was cheered on by my colleagues, family, patients and supporters in my community as I ran 83 miles in 24 hours. There were moments when I thought I could not take another step, but then I would stop to think about who and what I was fighting for. I found the strength to go on, just as those who fight cancer must do on a daily basis.

It became clear to me that the simple act of walking and running around a track to raise awareness and funds for the fight against cancer was something that resonated with others. The next year, a small committee was formed, and a yearly event to support the American Cancer Society was born.

I feel privileged to have been a part of this inspiring event from the beginning. The resolve and passion I witness in other Relayers never cease to amaze me. Whether you are in Tacoma, Wash. where it all began, or in Phillips County, where you are today, the spirit of what Relay For Life is all about prevails. We come together to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost and fight back against a disease that takes too much.

Thank you again for all you do. Your Relay For Life family in the United States and around the world is with you as you kick off the Relay For Life of Phillips County this year.


Dr. Gordy Klatt

Founder, American Cancer Society Relay For Life