12-hour Relay for Life fundraiser

Event celebrates cancer survivors and those who passed

Jennifer Schroeder

Jennifer Schroeder

Melissa Smalley

Black Press

In just several weeks, residents in Abbotsford, Mission and beyond will be lacing up their runners and hitting the track in an effort to fight cancer.

The Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay For Life is a 12-hour fundraising event – taking place in Abbotsford June 13 – that encourages community members to come together for a common cause.

According to Jennifer Schroeder, community giving co-ordinator for the CCS BC & Yukon Division, the relay is comprised of three “pillars.”

The first is to celebrate cancer survivors, as well as those battling cancer and their caregivers, and includes a victory lap to kick off the event. The second includes a luminary ceremony to remember loved ones who have passed away from the disease. And the third is to fight back against the disease and put an end to suffering and loss caused by cancer.

“We want to see every single person that is touched by cancer be a survivor,” Schroeder said. “That is our ultimate goal.”

While there are often plenty of tears at various Relay for Life events around the province, Schroeder said the atmosphere is also jovial and positive.

“The event itself is very uplifting and fun,” she said, noting there is live music, food and games on hand. “Most people are laughing and having a good time.”

This year’s event takes place between 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. at Rotary Stadium.

Last year, more than 10,500 Relay For Life participants in B.C. and the Yukon raised $3.5 million for the Canadian Cancer Society.

Schroeder encouraged anyone interested in trying the relay out to visit www.relayforlife.ca/whiterock or email whiterockrelay@bc.cancer.ca to find out more about this ‘inspirational’ event.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be there and to know that you’re making a difference within your community, within B.C. and across Canada, knowing that we’re all together in the fight to make a change.”