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San Luis joins in cancer fight with its own Relay for Life
SAN LUIS, Ariz.— This border city will join the fight against cancer by staging its own version of the Relay for Life fundraising walk to benefit the American Cancer Society.
The walk, modeled after a similar event in Yuma each year, will take place March 15 and 16 in Joe Orduno Park on Juan Sanchez Boulevard in San Luis. Participants will walk or run in shifts along a path in the park over a 24-hour period, in return for collecting pledge money that will go for cancer research or programs to help cancer victims.
And as with the Yuma event, the debut San Luis Relay for Life will bring together victims and their families, friends and acquaintances in what is meant as a show of support against the disease, said Katie Harlan, community relations manager for the American Cancer Society.
Among the organizers of the San Luis relay is Helia Martinez, whose husband, Victor, a former San Luis police officer and officer of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, lost his life to cancer eight months ago.
“Cancer can end a life, but not hope and love,” Martinez said during a recent news conference to announce the San Luis relay. “The more we join in this cause, the more support will be available” to fight the disease.
“We want everyone to participate (in the relay), anyone who has been diagnosed, anyone who has beaten the disease, or just anyone who wants to participate.”
The American Cancer Society is bringing Relay for Life to San Luis at “a good time,” said Harlan. “The community is growing and we want to grow with it.”
If nationwide statistics are an indication, 110 to 115 San Luis residents could be diagnosed with cancer over the course of a year, with about 30 dying from the disease, Harlan said.
“That's a large number for a small community. That's why we want people to know about us and use our programs.”
Everyone has a relative or knows of someone who is battling cancer, said Martinez.
“There are many cases. I found out about three people who were diagnosed in just a week.”
For more information about the participating in the San Luis Relay for Life, call Helia Martinez at (928) 919-3232.