Saed Tayyara speaks about his experience with cancer at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life kick-off celebration Wednesday at Moffat County High School. The event featured a variety of speakers and outlined Craig's upcoming Relay, which is scheduled for July 18 and 19.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Saed Tayyara speaks about his experience with cancer at the American Cancer Society Relay for Life kick-off celebration Wednesday at Moffat County High School. The event featured a variety of speakers and outlined Craig's upcoming Relay, which is scheduled for July 18 and 19.

2008 Relay for Life kicks off

Second annual cancer research fundraiser aims to collect more money than last year

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— Motivation to end cancer.

That was the purpose behind Craig's second annual Relay for Life kickoff celebration Wednesday night at Moffat County High School, said Elisa Hayes, Craig Relay sponsorship chair and event co-chair.

Participants gathered at the celebration, which marked the official start of a fundraising campaign leading up to the Relay, scheduled for July 18 and 19 at the high school.

That motivation also was a factor many of the event's attendees shared, including Moffat County Commissioner Saed Tayyara.

One year ago, Tayyara was diagnosed with lung cancer.

"Attitude is 80 percent, if not more, of the cure - along with treatment prescribed by a doctor," he said, adding that he's responding well to cancer treatment.

Tayyara is one of several cancer survivors participating in the Relay, which rallies the community around cancer patients, their caretakers and those who have lost friends or relatives to the disease.

"I'm proud to be a part (of) the Relay for Life event," he said, adding that the money raised by Relay for Life will fund cancer treatment research.

"This will not only benefit me and you but all of us."

Last year, the Relay raised about $68,000, which earned them the Rookie of the Year Award for the American Cancer Society's Great West Division.

This time around, the Relay, themed "A History of Helping," falls within Craig's centennial year.

The Relay will measure its progress in hundreds in honor of the event.

The Relay's goal is to honor 100 cancer survivors, thank 100 caretakers and raise at least $100,000 through fundraising events, Hayes said.

This year's Relay also will host "Colon Cancer Free Zone," a new campaign that encourages team members to gather colonoscopy pledges from residents 50 years old and older.

"If everyone 50 and older were tested for colon cancer according to the American Cancer Society recommended screening guidelines, new cases would be reduced by 25 percent and colon-cancer related deaths would decrease by 50 percent," according to a report from the ACS.

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