May 23, 2024

According to the American Cancer Society, in 2017 there will be an estimated 1,688,780 new cancer cases diagnosed and 600,920 cancer deaths in the United States.

Although cancer’s presence remains strong, it is through the work of researchers and volunteers that make the future of survivors brighter. An organization currently making positive steps is Relay For Life.

This particular organization is known worldwide, and has a location in Riverside. Relay For Life holds three main events all surrounding the annual relay to promote cancer research, which takes place June 10.

One of the three events includes a cancer survivor bingo game, which took place March 19 at Riverside Community Hospital. The event hosted 60 attendees, creating a community for survivors.
Joanne PanKydd, community manager for Relay For Life, said both the bingo and bunco events held are extremely popular among participants, start- ing the growth of a community.

“We get prizes for both events and have been very fortunate to get donations from both Jersey Mike’s for Bunco, and Jimmy John’s for Bingo,” PanKydd said. “Our community has been both generous and supportive.”

All events sponsored by Relay For Life have become traditions for those involved, and have reaped positivity within survivors.

“(The event) brings them together, offers them camaraderie and support as well as letting them know how important they are to us,” PanKydd said.

While the lighthearted game is one of the key elements within Relay For Life’s community among survivors, it is the annual relay that highlights the community among survivors.

Taking place in 5,200 communities and 27 countries, Relay For Life’s main goal is to make a global impact, which is also stated within the fundraiser’s website.

“Join us at these events to bring communities together to remember loved ones, hon- or survivors of all cancers and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer,” the website reads.

Not only does the website include facts about cancer and videos of the event, but ways to get involved in the relay or through donations.

“You would be inspired to see how many people have fought cancer and have either won the battle or are fighting valiantly to win this battle as well as how many people, plus the American Cancer Society, are there to support them through this,” PanKydd said.

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