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Estevan's Relay launched at the mall

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Estevan Relay for Life chair Elva Iwanchuk was among the speakers at the launch on March 29 at the Estevan Shoppers Mall.

The countdown is on for Estevan's Relay for Life, following a launch at the Estevan Shoppers Mall on March 29.

There was a barbecue at the launch to raise funds, and several speakers discussed the value of the Relay for Life.

Local relay chair Elva Iwanchuk said the relay is a celebration of survival, a tribute to loved ones, and an opportunity to have fun while raising funds for the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).

"It is a 12-hour overnight event where everyone in the community can join in the fight against cancer," said Iwanchuk. "It is a time when people you know and people you don't know team up to raise public awareness about cancer in the community, and to raise funds to find a cure.

"Cancer doesn't sleep, so for one night why should we?"

Iwanchuk explained the significance of the opening victory lap for cancer survivors, the luminary ceremony at dusk, and the overall financial impact of the event.

"I relay for an uncle, aunt and the many friends who lost their battle against this awful disease," she said. "I relay for my sister, who battled with breast cancer, and am proud to say today she is a 14-year survivor."

Grace Potter, who is in her first year as a relay volunteer, said that cancer is the enemy, as it tries to steal the hopes of people and their loved ones. She noted that people can fight back by joining the relay or purchasing a luminary.

"It is a small donation of $5, but when we participate, it adds up to fund a cure," said Potter.

She also encouraged people to be vigilant while undergoing screening tests for cancer.

Roberta Yergens, a Relay for Life specialist with the CCS, said it has been amazing to be involved with the relay, and to participate in the excitement it brings to communities.

"The money we have raised through Relay for Life has had a huge impact right here in our own community," said Yergens.

Funds raised at a relay are used for transportation and accommodation costs for cancer patients who have to travel for treatments. The money is also used to educate others on how to prevent cancer, and to advocate for a healthier Saskatchewan.

Estevan's Relay will happen on June 7 and 8 at the Civic Auditorium. More than $1 million has been raised for the CCS since the relay arrived in Estevan in 2006.


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