It may be a small, four-letter word, but with it comes a great deal of meaning and emotion for those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
The notion of ‘hope’ has the power to lift spirits, strengthen the mind and save lives, which is the reason the idea is at the forefront of the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life events.
Relay for Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten; the hope that those who face cancer will be supported; and the hope that one day cancer will be erased and eradicated.
Dr. Eric Karp and the Rahway Regional Cancer Center (RRCC) share the same vision, and each year look to instill hope for a cancer-free life in their own patients, caregivers and community members by forming a local Relay For Life team.
The RRCC Team has been involved with the local Relay For Life event for the past 11 years, but at the Clark, NJ based event in 2013 is where the group truly began to separate itself from the rest, as the outfit was recognized as the event’s top fundraising team after generating $51,514.89 for an outing that raised a grand total of $146,876.82.
It’s a monetary mark that RRCC prides itself on growing with each new year, a goal that has brought the team some much deserved yearly awards and accolades from the American Cancer Society.
“It’s not about the awards our team receives. It’s all about going the extra mile; reaching outside of our facility to bring our past and current patients and caregivers together, and connect them with other survivors in our local community and the surrounding areas,” said Renee Sarnicki, a registered Radiation Oncology Nurse who has worked alongside Dr. Karp for the past 21 years.
“It’s not that we aren’t honored to be recognized with awards, but the recognition certainly isn’t why we put our hearts into these events,” Sarnicky said of Dr. Karp and the RRCC team.
Though the event isn’t all about the money, the contributions it generates goes directly toward funding for cancer research, the development of patient care programs and other patient advocacy offerings.
Cancer is an ailment that has impacted the lives of so many in our community, causing RRCC to place such a premium on their local Relay For Life event, and the hope it can provide for those who are battling this affliction.
“The mind is a very powerful thing, and that power can be used for good or bad,” Sarnicky explained. “Battling cancer certainly takes its toll on a patient physically, but it can also wear on them mentally.”
“That’s why I send out save the dates for our Relay For Life event. Some of our patients really need something to look forward to; something to get better for. The event is a fundraiser, but it’s also a tool I can use to give my patients a goal, and something to shoot for each June.”
Relay For Life will be back in Rahway on Saturday, June 2 at the Rahway River Park Stadium at 1972 Saint George Avenue, and the four-part event is scheduled to run from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Opening Ceremony: The event kickoff will honor everyone who has been affected by cancer, and everyone who has contributed to the success of the 2018 outing.
Survivor/Caregiver Walk: Survivors and caregivers are integral to the success of each Relay for Life event, and it is with this walk that their strength and courage is honored by the masses cheering them on with each step.
Luminaria Ceremony: This special ceremony uses luminarias to honor everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer. Each light is representative of a life, whether it be one take by cancer, or belonging to a cancer survivor, or a supporter of a person still combating the disease. This powerful demonstration is an opportunity for the community to grieve together, but also offers comfort and hope for the future.
Closing Ceremony: The closing ceremony marks the end of the Rahway Relay for Life event and celebration of what the community has accomplished together. However, it also acts as a call to action, where participants are tasked to help lead the fight for a world free of cancer.
For more information on how to join or donate to the Rahway Regional Cancer Team participating at the 2018 Relay For Life event please contact Renee Sarnicki at firstname.lastname@example.org
For further details about the forthcoming Relay For Life event in Rahway visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY18NER?pg=entry&fr_id=85862