In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last week, there have been numerous “walks for life” that have taken place across the region, state and nation. These walks — which have included both protests calling for gun control and memorials for the 17 students and adults killed, and endorsed by the online moniker #NeverAgainMSD — have been emotional, passionate and a call to change the status quo in Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.
These walks are important. They bring attention to a powerful health issue that has gone unchecked for far too long. But there is another health issue where walks are planned, and have taken place, for years, which is also in need of attention this time of year — walks that fight the scourge of cancer.
On Saturday, March 10, the American Cancer Society’s annual Relay for Life of Western Palm Beach County takes place at the South Florida Fairgrounds from 3 to 11 p.m. Relay for Life is a community fundraising walk celebrating survivors, honoring those lost and inspiring hope, all while raising money for cancer research and support programs.
Our local walk is one of many taking place in the region and across the nation this spring. There are also walks on the campus of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton on March 23, in Delray Beach on April 7, and in Jupiter on April 21. These, and thousands of other walks, are raising billions of dollars. It is estimated that more than $5 billion has been raised the past 30 years.
The event brings out teams who raise money and then walk the track, with one person from each team walking or running around the clock. Each year, more than 5,000 Relay for Life events take place in more than 20 countries.
To get involved in our local relay, visit www.relayforlife.org and type in your zip code to learn more about the March 10 event. You can also call (561) 650-0129 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fighting cancer and pediatric diseases, and fighting for safety in our schools, are important causes in this day and age, and both Relay for Life and #NeverAgainMSD are inspiring ways of tackling such somber and timely issues. We encourage the community to go out and support all these important local events. They provide opportunities for the community to work together toward a common goal, and that’s always a good thing.