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Relay for Life

MARYSVILLE In the six years Jerry Jacobs has fought cancer, he has been through three series of experimental treatments. Just prior to a planning meeting for the upcoming Relay for Life, Jacobs only recently had left the hospital following the third attempt to extend his life.
Thats what this is all about, Jacobs said. Without fundraisers like this, those treatments arent going to be there.
Theres no place like Hope is the slogan for this years Northern Snohomish County American Cancer Society Relay for Life, which takes place June 7-8 at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Founded 20 years ago by a Tacoma physician, the Relay for Life has grown to be what the American Cancer Society touts as its best known fundraising event, held in 4,200 communities and having raised more than $1 billion toward cancer research, education and patient services.
Relay for Life is about inspiring hope, celebrating survivors, remembering those we lost and finding a cure for cancer, said Tracy Anderson, one of the events co-chairs.
During last years Relay, also at Marysville-Pilchuck, 40 teams raised $154,000, said second event co-chair Dawn Martin. In fact, statewide, the Marysville Relay trailed only the Tacoma Relay in dollars raised.
For this year, Martin hopes to increase the take to at least $164,000. Volunteer event organizer and cancer survivor Carol Funkhouser said some 46 teams have signed up for this years event, adding there still is time to organize a team or donate to the cause.
Described as a family oriented event, Relay for Life asks teams of participants to walk, run or even stroll in shifts around the high school running track for 24 hours. The event is a relay, Funkhouser said, because cancer never sleeps. Participants usually camp out around the track, enjoying food and entertainment when not taking their turn on the field.
Traditionally, after dark, a luminaria ceremony begins, honoring those whove survived or are battling cancer, as well as serving as a remembrance of those who lost their battle. Funkhouser said cancer survivors especially are invited to take part in Relay for Life.
For more information, call at 425-322-1123 or go to the American Cancer Society Web site and follow the event link to the Northern Snohomish Relay for Life. You also may send an e-mail to becca.gheen@cancer.org.

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