The North Snohomish County Relay for Life will be held in Marysville on July 20 and 21 to support local cancer survivors and cancer research
The event is meant to represent areas around the north county area including Marysville, Arlington, Lake Stevens, Granite Falls and Stanwood.
The relay is a national annual fundraiser from the American Cancer Society ACS) that brings people to relay around a track for 24 hours.
This year’s will be at Asbery Field in Marysville and begin at noon on July 20. So far more than $45,000 has been raised for the event.
Katie Tormohlen, senior community development manager at the ACS and one of the main organizers for the local event, said that many people enjoy coming out to the relays for a sense of community with fellow survivors and caregivers.
“I’m a longtime participant, long before I became staff here,” said Tormohlen.
“When you come out it is more like a community. All the friends, community members and businesses come out and they understand what you’re going through,” she said.
It helps to be around people who have gone through the same things that you have, she said.
“You really understand each other and can celebrate in your wins and get comfort in your losses,” said Tormohlen.
She encourages everyone to stop by the event for the day.
“People don’t have to be registered to participate. Anyone is welcome to stop by for the event,” she said.
When you interact with cancer survivors you can also see where your money is going, she said.
“The money goes to the American Cancer Society and we use that for a lot of different things,” said Tormohlen.
“What most people think of is the research,” she said, and the ACS does spend millions of dollars each year in grants for research into cancer.
However, the funds raised also go to programs to more directly help current survivors.
“What a lot of people don’t realize is that these funds also help the people who have cancer in a lot of different ways,” said Tormohlen.
That help can include rides to appointments, wigs or lodging.
“So, if people need to go across the state for some treatment or an appointment, we can provide lodging for the night,” she said.
The ACS also has a 24-hour call center with counselors and nurses to talk to survivors with “anything that they need to help them in their battle,” said Tormohlen.
The relay will include a variety of events throughout as well.
“We have a lot of things happening at the relay, and that is anything from a hypnotist to a couple of bands that will be coming to play,” said Tormohlen.
A silent auction will be held to raise more money, she said.
“And we will have our normal events like a survivor celebration,” said Tormohlen.
The nighttime candle vigil Luminaria service will also be held at the event.