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Support cancer reseach at Relay for Life



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Gail Engdahl will walk in this year’s Clarkston Relay For Life. Photo provided (click for larger version)
May 11, 2011 - Gail Engdahl of Clarkston, a seven-year breast cancer survivor, is hopeful as she prepares for this year's Relay For Life event.

"More people are surviving cancer than ever before and I am one of them," Engdahl said. "There are 11 million cancer survivors living today. Because of progress made by the American Cancer Society, cancer is no longer an immediate death sentence."

But there is still more work to be done, she said.

"That is why we hold the Relay For Life of Clarkston each year," she said.

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Clarkston Junior High School hosts the Survivor Celebration at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, 10 a.m., May 21, until 10 a.m., May 22.

"Relay For Life is a place where you can go to share your story without saying a word," said Engdahl, Relay For Life of Clarkston survivorship chair. "We are inviting all cancer survivors, no matter if it's been one day or one decade since their diagnosis, to come out and be celebrated."

Participating cancer survivors are given special shirts to wear as they lead a special Victory Lap around the track in honor of their triumph over cancer. This year's Victory Lap will be held at 10 a.m., with registration beginning at 9:15 a.m., on May 21.

"The Victory Lap is one of the most moving experiences of my cancer journey," said Engdahl. "Each year I'm overwhelmed by the crowds of people who surround the track cheering on survivors like myself. It reminds me that I'm not alone in my fight against cancer."

The Luminaria Ceremony after sundown lines the track with candlelight – luminarias are small bags with candles in them, decorated with the names of people who have faced cancer.

"The sight of the luminaria glowing in the darkness is breathtaking," said Dee Chartier, luminaria chair. "The Luminaria Ceremony brings to light the impact cancer has had on our community and inspires us to do everything possible to find a cure."

To make a donation for a Luminaria in honor or in memory of someone touched by cancer, call 248 663-3476. Luminaria will also be available at the event. All donations go to the American Cancer Society.

For information on the Clarkston event, call Beth Campbell at 248.663.3476 or check www.relayforlife.org/clarkston.

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