Editorial
Start of Relay for Life Editorial Stock Photo

In May 1985, Dr. Klatt, a colorectal surgeon from Tacoma, Washington, decided he wanted to raise money for the American Cancer Society in honor of his patients. For 24 hours, Dr. Klatt walked around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. Throughout the night, friends paid $25 to run or walk 30 minutes with him. He walked approximately 83 miles and raised $27,000 to fight cancer. Nearly 300 of Dr. Klatt's friends, family, and patients watched as he ran and walked the course. After this successful event, Dr. Klatt thought about how other people could partake in a similar 24-hour event in communities across the country. He recruited a small team of people and put on the first Relay For Life event in 1986. Since then, Relay has developed into an overnight event where people bring tents and sleep out around the tracks. People of all ages come out to bring the community together and reminisce about their loved ones who have died of cancer and honor those who have survived while raising money to fight for a cure. Now, almost 4 million people take part in Relay events in over 5,000 communities in the United State.

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