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Examiner
  • Q5: Heather Palmer

  • Heather Palmer is the director of oncology services at Centerpoint Medical Center and the 2012 Relay for Life committee chair. The event begins at 6 p.m. June 22, at Centerpoint. It will continue until 6 p.m. June 23. Currently, there are 28 teams registered and about $15,000 has been raised. However, the minimum goal for this year’s event is $30,000.

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  • Heather Palmer is the director of oncology services at Centerpoint Medical Center and the 2012 Relay for Life committee chair. The event begins at 6 p.m. June 22, at Centerpoint. It will continue until 6 p.m. June 23. Currently, there are 28 teams registered and about $15,000 has been raised. However, the minimum goal for this year’s event is $30,000.
    For more information, to register a team or to donate, visit the 2012 Relay for Life of Independence website at main.acsevents.org/site/TR?sid=128433&type=fr_informational&pg=informational&fr_id=44435. All proceeds go to the American Cancer Society.
     
    1. Why is Relay for Life an important event each year?
    Relay For Life is the signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, which has enabled ACS to become the largest private funder of cancer research in the world. What sets Relay apart is that each event centered around its own community and cancer heroes, thus giving it a very local flavor and reaching more people than if it was just a standardized, staff-driven event.
    2. How can the community get involved with Relay?
    Fundraising teams are the lifeblood of Relay For Life. Ordinary folks connected through work, school, family or even a through a mutual loved one undergoing cancer, can register online and raise money before and at the event. Coming together on Relay night to celebrate, remember and fight back can be a powerfully unifying experience for teams. The community can also help us recruit survivors to walk the first celebration lap with us. Finally, Relay For Life depends on valuable corporate sponsorships to help fund our lifesaving work as well as to cultivate a true community environment.
     
    3. What part of the event do you look forward to the most every year?
    The Luminaria Ceremony. Each year, Relay For Life participants, survivors and caregivers remember loved ones lost to cancer and honor those battling the disease through luminaria bags. Simple white luminaria bags are transformed and illuminated after dark  and each one is personalized with the name, photo, message or drawing in memory or honor of a friend or loved one who has been affected by cancer. As the sun sets at our Relay For Life event, luminaria will line the event and Relay for Life participants, survivors and caregivers will then gather together for the Luminaria Ceremony to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to honor those who have battled the disease.
    As participants walk the track lined with luminaria bags in reflection, a caregiver who has lost a loved one may find comfort from a fellow caregiver who has faced a similar loss. Meanwhile, a survivor gains hope and strength from others who have followed the same journey and survived. All resolve to keep fighting to save more lives so no more luminaria bear the names of those lost to the disease.
    Page 2 of 2 - 4. What happens during a Relay for Life event?
    Relay For Life is an overnight walk that is non-competitive in nature. Team members camp out and take turns walking around a track, while we have a carnival-like atmosphere cheering them on with games, food, entertainment, kids’ activities, educational booths, contests and more. The highlight of the night includes three very special ceremonies honoring what brings us together and strengthening our resolve to end this disease in our lifetime.
     
    5. How do the funds raised through these events help cancer patients?
    Relay For Life funds not only help the American Cancer Society finance the research grants that are helping us make breakthroughs in medicine, but also provides valuable services and programs to cancer patients and their families. Many of these services are available locally through the American Cancer Society’s partnership with Centerpoint Medical Center and through our 24-hour National Cancer Information Center hot line for patients in need of assistance. Thanks to those who participate in Relay For Life, local cancer patients are able to receive free housing when traveling for treatment, complimentary wigs and prostheses, support groups specific to their needs, transformation to and from treatment, chemo-specific customized skin and make-up consultations, peer-to-peer mentoring, bill pay assistance and more.
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