Relay For Life is an overnight, team effort to raise funds for the American Cancer Society’s programs and services. “Cancer does not stop when the sun goes down,” said Pumpkin Culpepper, Relay For Life committee member. “So we’re not going to stop either. We hope the community will join us in this overnight fight.”
Relay For Life starts at dusk and ends in the morning hours of the following day. The light and darkness of the day and night parallel the physical effects, emotions and mental state of cancer patients while undergoing treatment.
The Relay begins when the sun is setting. This symbolizes the time that people are diagnosed with cancer. The day is getting darker, and this represents the cancer patients’ state of mind as they endure the emotions of facing this deadly disease.
As the evening goes on, it gets colder and darker, just as the emotions of cancer patients do. Between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m. represents the time when cancer patients start treatment. They become exhausted, some sick, not wanting to go on, and possibly wanting to give up. Participants in Relay feel much the same way while walking during these hours. They cannot stop or give up; just as cancer patients cannot stop or give up.
The sun rising represents the end of treatment for cancer patients. They see the light at the end of the tunnel and know that life will go on. The morning light brings on a new day, full of life and excitement. Participants feel the brightness of the morning and know that the end of the Relay is close at hand.
When participants leave the Relay, they can think of cancer patients leaving their last treatment. Just as participants are exhausted and weak, so are individuals after treatment.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Karnes County takes place April 26-27 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Karnes City High School Football Stadium. For more information about how to form a team or become involved in Relay call Tina Jones at 830-299-9453.