Tipperary Relay for Life celebrates cancer survivors

Relay for Life Tipperary 2013 will take place in Toomevara on the last weekend in August, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th.

Relay for Life Tipperary 2013 will take place in Toomevara on the last weekend in August, Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th.

This will be the third annual Relay for Life event in Tipperary and, announcing the date after last week’s meeting, chairperson Jerry Cronin said that the committee are very pleased that the event will again be held in Toomevara.

He said that “relay has been very successful in Toomevara for the last two years and it is a great venue. But as well as that, the support and help we have received from everybody in the club has been terrific, so we are looking forward to going there again this year.” He added that one of the aims of the committee for this year is to have more teams from all over the county take part and over the coming months the committee would love to hear from anybody from anywhere around the county who would be interested in participating or entering a team in the event

Relay has now become one of the biggest annual events in the calendar of Co Tipperary, with over 1,000 people taking part in each year as well as the many spectators who attended. The event has raised awareness of cancer issues and in particular the fact that there can be life after cancer, and during the past two years has raised over €250,000 in support of the Irish Cancer Association. About two-thirds of the money raised is spent directly on providing of cancer services in the county with the remainder being spent of cancer research.

The central themes of Relay for Life are to celebrate cancer survivors, to remember those who have left us, and to fight back against the disease. At the event, teams of people take turns walking around a track. And, to symbolise that fact that cancer never sleeps, each team has a representative on the track at all time during the 24 hours. While not walking, participants and spectators can socialise, picnic, play games, dance and participate in lots of fun activities.

Jerry Cronin says that “relay for Life is a great, 24 hour-long community celebration focussing on cancer and it can provide communities, individuals and families with hope and practical support in the fight against cancer”.

Cancer survivors are very important people at any Relay event. Indeed, the very first thing in the 24-hour event is the Survivors’ Lap, where people of all ages who have had cancer walk the first lap of the track, cheered on by family, friends, and teams from the community. Last year about 100 survivors took part in what was a very emotional experience for many people. Another special event during the 24 hours is the Candle of Hope ceremony which takes place as darkness begins to fall. Last year, 3,000 Candles of Hope were dedicated by people all over the county to someone they know who has been touched by cancer. Some of the candles are dedicated to someone who survived, others in memory of someone who did not, and some to family and carers for their support. As the evening approaches, the lighted candles are set around the track, and remain there lighting all night as the event continues. Once the candles are placed around the track, the short ceremony takes place and for many people, this is when the true meaning of Relay hits home. Overall, Relay for Life is a very unique event, very moving, fulfilling and fun.

Cancer impacts intimately on one in three people in Ireland during their lifetime. All funds raised through this event will go to support the work of the services provided by Irish Cancer Association, in particular the bowel cancer screening service to be launched later this year which aims to ensure that fewer people in Ireland get cancer and that those who do have a better chance of survival.

If you would like to find out more information about Relay, or to participate or enter a team in the event, you can do so at www.relayforlife.ie or you can email tipprelayteam@live.com