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The Times
  • Relay for Life kicks off

  • “Dreams” will be the theme of the 14th annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Herkimer County, which kicked off Friday evening with a rally at the Blessed Sacrament Church Hall.



    “Dream it, wish it, do it,” those gathered were told.

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  • “Dreams” will be the theme of the 14th annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Herkimer County, which kicked off Friday evening with a rally at the Blessed Sacrament Church Hall.
    “Dream it, wish it, do it,” those gathered were told.
    This year’s relay is scheduled for June 8 and 9 at Herkimer Elementary School, according to Steph Boucher, American Cancer Society staff partner for this event. She said Friday’s rally offered an opportunity to bring the teams together as they begin organizing and raising funds in preparation for the June event.
    “We have a couple of new teams this year,” she said. “Within the next month or month and a half we’ll have a better idea of how many we have.” A team from West Winfield is expected to join the event this year.
    The Relay committee presented a “silent” program to share information about the event and the services of the American Cancer Society with those gathered.
    “Since 2000, Relay for Life of Herkimer County has raised $1.4 million in the fight against cancer,” one of the signs read.
    Others told of the cancer prevention study planned in the Utica area. Men and women between the ages of 30 and 65 who have never been diagnosed with cancer are invited to participate. They can schedule an enrollment appointment and location by visiting www.mohawkvalleycps3.org, attending an enrollment session and completing follow-up surveys. This is part of a nationwide study that will look at how lifestyle choices and environmental issues may impact one’s risk of getting cancer.
    A pair of teams - A Little Piece of Heaven and Nancy’s Survivors - were honored for 10 years of participation in Relay for Life. Boucher noted that these teams formed, as many do, in response to losing loved ones to cancer.
    Kayleigh Coupe, of Ilion, a cancer survivor, spoke about how her family was able to stay in the American Cancer Society’s New York City Hope Lodge during March through May 2012 while she was undergoing cancer treatments at Memorial Sloan Kettering cancer treatment center. It would have been expensive for her family to stay nearby, but the ACS offered space at Hope Lodge free of charge and funds from Relay for Life help make that possible, she said. Coupe, 21, is a nursing student at St. Elizabeth’s School of Nursing in Utica.
    The ACS Relay for Life is an overnight community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, picnic, dance, play games and take turns circling around a track “relay” style to raise funds to fight cancer. Started in 1985, Relay for Life began with one man who circled a track for 24 hours, raising $27,000. This year, Relay for Life has grown to more than 5,200 communities and more than 25 countries worldwide.
    Page 2 of 2 - Anyone interested in getting involved is invited to call 1-800-227-2345 or visit www.relayforlife.org/herkimercountyNY.

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