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Relay for Life 2010, bigger, better, ready to battle cancer

June 09, 2010 - Ortonville- Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

The public is invited to do all of the above at the third annual Relay for Life of Brandon/Ortonville, a 24-hour event to raise funds to fight cancer and celebrate life, survivorship and hope. The relay begins at 10 a.m. June 19 at the Varsity Drive football field in the village, located next to Harvey Swanson Elementary and the H.T. Burt Lifelong Learning Center.

Relay for Life is the American Cancer Society's signature event to raise funds and awareness for all types of cancers. Participants typically sign up to walk as part of a team, averaging 12-15 members, with each team having a member to represent them on the track throughout the 24 hours. Organizers have themed laps for fun that have included hula hoop, bubble, 3-legged, 70s, 80s, pajama, singalong, backwards, and Mr. Relay. The party-like atmosphere also includes a disc jockey, live musical entertainment, bounce houses, dunk tanks, clowns, volleyball, and much more. Persons attending the event do not have to walk or be a part of a team to enjoy the fun.

In the evening, a touching luminaria ceremony honors those who have lost their fight to the disease.

New this year is a unique opportunity. From 1-5 p.m. June 19, persons between the ages of 30 and 65, who have never been diagnosed with cancer (excluding basal or squamous cell cancer), will have the chance to enroll in a new research study known as Cancer Prevention Study 3 (CPS-3) during the Relay.

The American Cancer Society is seeking 500,000 volunteers to participate in the study, and the Brandon/Ortonville Relay is the only enrollment site in Oakland County, as well as the youngest and smallest relay chosen to take sign-ups. Enrollment is open to anyone who meets the eligibility requirements, regardless of where they reside, but sign-ups can only take place during the relay.

Persons willing to make a long-term commitment to the study, in which participants will receive a survey in the mail to fill out every two or three years for the next 20-30 years, can enroll in a simple two-phase process. During the first phase, at the relay, participants will read and sign an informed consent form, complete a brief survey with basic health questions, give a simple blood sample to a certified phlebotomist from Quest Diagnostics, and have their waist measurement taken (in centimeters and unannounced, laughs Graveldinger). All results are confidential.

This first phase takes about 30-minutes and while enrollment is only taken at the relay, study participants do not have to be relay participants. About two weeks later, those partaking in the study will receive a more detailed survey in the mail with questions to answer about health, lifestyle and environment. In the years that follow, more surveys will arrive, with participants updating their information and researchers looking for common threads among those who do and do not get cancer.

For more information, call 1-888-604-5888, visit cancer.org/cps3. For reminders or to volunteer, e-mail Graveldinger at brandoncps3@gmail.com.

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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