Relay for Life Tipperary 2013 is coming out of hibernation and preparations for this year’s event which will again be in Toomevara on the weekend of 24/25 August are gathering pace. During the past two years Relay for Life was one of the most significant events taking place in Co Tipperary with over 1,000 people taking part each year and with many more family members and spectators attending.
The event has raised awareness of cancer issues and in particular the fact that there can be life after cancer, and it also raised over €250,000 so far to support the work of the Irish Cancer Association. Of this amount, about two thirds was spent directly in Co Tipperary providing services for cancer sufferers and their families with the remainder being spent on research to fight the disease. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger and better than ever.
Relay for Life is a 24 hour community celebration and a unique, empowering and fun event, raising awareness of the services of the Irish Cancer Association, and supporting their work – last year’s event raised over €112,000. The central themes of Relay for Life are to celebrate cancer survivors, to remember those who have left us, and to fight back. 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.
Two very special events form part of Relay. First is the Survivors’ Lap which starts off the whole event, where cancer survivors of all ages are begin the Relay by walking the first lap of the course, cheered on by family, friends, and teams from the community. Last year almost 100 survivors took part in what was a very emotional event for many people. The second special event is the Candle of Hope ceremony which takes place as darkness begins to fall. Last year, 4,000 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. This is when the true meaning of Relay hits home. Overall, Relay for Life is a very unique event, very moving, fulfilling and fun.
How to take part
Speaking with this paper, Jerry Cronin, Chairperson of Relay for Life Tipperary says that the success of Relay for Life is down to the teams. From now on teams will be forming throughout the county and will be organising events locally to spread the message that we can reduce the risk of getting cancer and that there is hope for those who do and will also be raising funds to fight the disease. He added that this year the committee hoped that new teams would form in towns and parishes throughout the county which did not have a team last year. So, if you would like to participate in this year’s event or to enter a team, or just to find out more about Relay for Life, you can do so at www.cancer.ie/relayforlife or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact any member of the relay committee