- Tuesday, January 27, 2009, 5:30 p.m.
Relay For Life is a fundraiser for cancer research, as well as a statement, said Jeremiah Herman, American Cancer Society community relationship manager.
As a cancer survivor, Herman, 25, is thankful for that research.
It's not just about him, though. Money raised through various programs, including Relay, have paved the way for such cancer treatments as mammograms and pap tests.
Most recently, such funds helped pay for the research that led to a vaccine for human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes for 70 percent of cervical cancer cases in the United States, Herman said.
"Now we have the ability to vaccinate for 70 percent of all cervical cancers," he said.
The walk itself also means something, even without the dollars.
"It's a show of solidarity," Herman said. "We walk all night because cancer never sleeps."
Now, after two years in Craig, Relay For Life is preparing to march on to a third event. Local relay representatives plan to hold a meeting for local residents at 5:30 a.m. Jan. 27 at Yampa Valley Bank to share the event's importance and sign up volunteers.
A lot of work goes into the event's planning, which needs volunteers to organize and recruit teams, coordinate logistics, find refreshments and prizes, plan entertainment and generally lend their support in any way they can, Herman wrote in an e-mail.
For the Craig Relay's first two years, local residents showed "tremendous" support, he said.
Last year, out of all similarly sized counties in 12 regional states, Craig raised the third most dollars per capita.
But, just as the walk symbolizes a never-ending struggle, efforts still are needed. That is not to say hope is gone, Herman said.
"Cancer can be beaten," he said. "We are going to fight this. We are going to find a cure. We are going to help people who are suffering. That's what the American Cancer Society is all about. That's what the Relay is all about."
For more information on the coming meeting or the Relay, residents can reach Herman at 970-254-5584 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collin Smith can be reached at 875-1794 or email@example.com