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Cumbria welcomes first ever Cancer Research UK Relay For Life event

[A]n exciting and inspirational event in the name of Relay For Life will be hosted this September to raise vital funds for Cancer Research UK.

Cancer Research UK’s Relay For Life Eden Valley – the first ever event in Cumbria – is urging people to come forward and enter a team for a family and friends event that brings everyone in the community together in the fight against cancer.

The event, which is being held on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 September at Appleby Grammar School, is a unique celebration of life and hope that brings communities as one to show that united we are stronger than cancer, and culminates in a fantastic team event.

Teams of around eight to 15 people – of all ages, levels of fitness and from all walks of life – are needed to take part in the overnight fundraising festival that celebrates cancer survivors and remembers loved ones who have lost their battle to the life-limiting illness.

During the Relay itself, team members take it in turns to walk round a track while everyone else enjoys a wide range of fun activities on offer. As Relay For Life is non-stop through the night, those team members not on the track take turns to rest, eat, or sleep in their tents, which are set up close by.

Cancer survivors are invited to take part in the Relay event as a guest of honour. Every Relay For Life begins with the inspiring Survivors’ Lap of Honour. Cancer survivors walk the first lap, cheered and supported by the community. Together we celebrate life and our joint efforts which mean that together we will beat cancer sooner.

As dusk falls, the atmosphere quietens as the Candle of Hope ceremony begins. The event is the most poignant part of Relay For Life when specially made Candle of Hope bags – decorated with touching messages in memory or in celebration of loved ones – are filled with sand and lit up with candles around the track.

Now the Relay For Life Eden Valley committee is appealing for people who want give something back to the community and fundraise to help make their first year a tremendous success, whilst raising funds for a worthy cause.

Pat Holden, survivorship chair on the Relay For Life Eden Valley committee, said she volunteered to be a part of this event having had her own experience with cancer.

Pat, aged 71, added: “Last year I found out that I had bladder cancer and had two growths removed, and an hour’s blast with Mytomycin. This was a very scary time for me however; I received great support and comfort from my daughter. I have to return to the clinic in a year’s time and fingers crossed all will be well.

“I joined the Relay For Life Eden Valley committee not just because of my own experience but I have lost so many family and friends to this awful disease that we need all the help we can get to raise awareness and to help Cancer Research UK to find a cure.

“We need to celebrate and have fun whilst raising money for vital research for those who are surviving while remembering those that have not beaten this disease.”

Cancer Research UK is dedicated to saving more lives by preventing, controlling and curing all cancers. The charity funds the work of thousands of scientists, doctors and nurses who are fighting over 200 types of cancer.

Kate Walsh, event chair on the Relay For Life Eden Valley committee was motivated to get involved in the event as it was important to her to give something back to the community having lost her mum and seeing family members battle this disease.

The mother of three, added: “When I was still a student my mum got diagnosed with breast cancer, had a mastectomy and was well for a few years before the cancer returned. She died when I was 24 and consequently missed out on a great deal of her children’s adult lives.

“Last year, 20 years after losing my mum, I decided it was well past the time to give something back and I organised a Ladies Evening for Cancer Research UK. Since then, I have helped form the committee who are organising Cumbria’s first ever Relay For Life.

“My father recently recovered from prostate cancer and my husband also lost his mum to cancer. I believe that as so many of us have suffered or witnessed others suffer from such a horrible disease, that it is up to us to join together and help make a difference. This new event in Cumbria will bring so many of us together to unite in the fight against cancer and it will be fun – surely that’s what life is all about.”

Natasha Patel, Local Fundraising Manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “Thanks to Cancer Research UK’s work, more people are surviving cancer than ever before.

“Survival rates have doubled over the last 40 years and the charity’s work has been at the heart of that progress. But despite improvements in treatment, cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK.
“Cancer Research UK wants to change that and needs the help of the people in the community to accelerate the progress that is being made against this devastating disease.

“I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to the Relay For Life Eden Valley committee for all of their hard work and dedication so far that is helping to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”

For more information about this annual event or if you would like to enter a team or to register as a survivor, visit http://relay.cancerresearchuk.org/edenvalley or contact Kate Walsh on 07919911829.Relay For Life Eden Valley

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