Oakland “Relay for Life”

By Tanya Dennis Earl Starnes, who lost his wife Annie Mae from cancer in February, is someone who feels the call to join the fight against the disease, which strikes one in three people during their lifetime. “I can’t think of a better way to honor my wife and keep her memory alive than to actively participate in eradicating cancer from the planet,” he said. Starnes will join other Bay Area residents Saturday, July 28, by walking around the clock in the battle against cancer at the 8th Annual American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in Oakland. The 24-hour relay gets underway with teams of residents gathering at 10 a.m. at Bishop O’Dowd High School at 9500 Stearns Ave. in Oakland. Relay for Life, which is being hosted at 4,800 events nationwide, celebrates the courage and strength of the survivors and honors the victims. “Relay is a unique opportunity for our community to come together to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember those we’ve lost, and fight back against the disease,” said Angela Caulboy, chair of the Oakland Relay. “The first lap at the relay is special, it’s the survivor’s lap,” she said. “Cancer survivors are invited to walk the first lap.  It’s very emotional and hopeful to see how many people do survive cancer.” Each team captain is encouraged to recruit 8 to 15 friends, family and coworkers, who will seek contributions prior to the event.  On the day of the relay, team members will show up with their tents and chairs and take turns walking around the track. One person will always be walking one the track, representing the team for 24 hours. In 2010, Relay for Life raised $388 million to fund cutting-edge cancer research, early detection and prevention educations, advocacy efforts, and life-affirming patient services. “We urge the community to come and see what our event is all about, stay for a lap or all day, just help us fight back against cancer,” said Caulboy. For more information, contact Angela Caulboy at (510) 258-3458 or go to www.relayforlife.org/oaklandca
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