Relay For Life American Cancer Society

Storm clouds hover but never really let loose on the walkers at Relay for Life this year.

It was supposed to rain all day and all night long. Some old, bearded guy down the block was starting work on a massive boat and Relay For Life was surely going to be washed away.

And yet, though the clouds held sway and a few drops did pitter down, the Troy, Michigan event pulled in around $90,000 last weekend.

I’ve written a lot about Relay For Life and Rodney’s Runners, the awesome team my daughter, Taylor, put together to raise money, awareness and hope. These events happen all across the country every summer. You show up, walk around a track, buy some baked goods and voila, you’ve just helped out.

The American Cancer Society is closing in on a bunch of new and amazing cures or ways of avoiding The Big C entirely. I’ve recently heard about researchers using people’s immune systems to battle different forms of the disease. And now that they’ve mapped the Human Genome, they’re talking about cancer switches and receptors. It’s almost like we’re big, complex machines that just need a software reboot.

It’s a very exciting time in the cancer world, even for people like me who the doctors say are cured. If you get a chance to attend one of these Relay events, you probably won’t find sadness or despair. It’s likely you’ll see a bunch of energy, love and more than anything, hope.

That and cookies.

American Cancer Society Relay for Life

Relay For Life at night: Luminaria bags commemorating those of us who dealt with the disease decorated the track.

How to get involved in fighting back against cancer this year

RELAY FOR LIFE IN THE MILLIONS AND BILLIONS: Since Dr. Gordon Klatt organized the first large-scale Relay For Life in 1986, 4 million people have walked in 5,000 U.S. cities and raised more than $3 billion. That’s not counting the similar events in two dozen other countries around the world.

FIND A RELAY FOR LIFE NEAR YOU: Here’s the official Relay for Life “Find an Event” page.

GET YOUR FRIENDS EXCITED ABOUT RELAY FOR LIFE: Click the blue “f” Facebook icon at the top of this column and invite friends to stop by and read this short column—and look at the photos, of course.

GIVE A ‘CUTE’ LEUKEMIA TO FRIENDS: Learn to laugh in the face of fear. That’s one way to get friends on their feet and support Relay for Life. You can also order a copy of Rodney’s book, A “Cute” Leukemia here.