June 17, 2008

Walk To Fight Cancer

By Amanda Stevens Journal Staff Writer

The community will be coming together to honor cancer survivors as well as loved ones lost to cancer during an overnight walk-a- thon this weekend.

The 10th annual American Cancer Society Rio Rancho Relay for Life will begin at 7 p.m. Friday and continue throughout the night until 8 a.m. Saturday.

"The purpose of having it through the night is since cancer never sleeps, neither will we," said Lisa Gonzales, the Rio Rancho Relay event chairwoman. "When morning comes, it represents new life in honor of those who have lost their life. It represents new life to cancer survivors."

So far, 35 teams of 10-18 people have signed up to participate, as well as 37 cancer survivors, Gonzales said.

"I believe this event is extremely important," she said. "I feel there is a cure for cancer. I believe anybody who gets involved with Relay for Life feels in their heart there is a cure for cancer, and it's going to take a community to step up and find the funds to research to find the cure."

Participants raise money according to the number of laps they walk or run around the track, Gonzales said.

"We're hoping to bring in roughly $45,000," she said. "That money goes to the American Cancer Society, and it goes to advocacy, cancer research and also to support patients in the process of fighting cancer and in the healing process and patient support as well."

Luminarias will light up the track as the walkers go late into the night.

"Luminaria bags are lit all around that track that honor survivors and family and friends who have lost their loved ones," Gonzales said. "It's a beautiful experience, and it's a symbol of hope."

For those who have not signed up, there is still time. Participants are welcome to sign up the day of the event, Gonzales said. Or, visit events. cancer.org/rf lrioranchonm for more information and to register.

"I hear so many stories out there and (cancer) really affects our community more than I think people really know, and that's why it's so important for us to come together as a community and raise the funds and fight back and support each other and make a difference," Gonzales said.


WHAT: American Cancer Society Rio Rancho Relay for Life

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday

WHERE: Rio Rancho High School

HOW MUCH: $10 registration fee

(c) 2008 Albuquerque Journal. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.