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Party to kick-off 2016 Relay For Life of West Maui

By Staff | Dec 31, 2015

A four-time cancer survivor, Hawaii’s 2016 Hero of Hope, Lillian Kehau Matsumoto, shares her personal cancer story with lawmakers.

LAHAINA – The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of West Maui Kickoff Party is just around the corner, and the community is invited to participate.

The 2016 event kickoff meeting will be held on Thursday, Jan. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission Social Hall.

Attend if you are interested in learning more about the event, where the money goes and how you can get involved.

In the past year-and-a-half, donations to the American Cancer Society have helped 447 people in Maui County get the help they need with their cancer diagnosis.

Hawaii’s 2016 Hero of Hope, Lillian Kehau Matsumoto, is personally thankful for all the resources that ACS provides.

“ACS research dollars went to fund grants to create medications that are used by many women for breast cancer, like Tamoxifin and Arimidex. I used both medications, and if it was not for the research dollars, I may not have been so lucky,” she said.

Through Relay For Life, teams from businesses, schools, families, places of worship and more raise funds to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission.

Funds raised through Relay For Life have a major impact on the fight to end cancer through American Cancer Society efforts such as:

Helping save 500 lives a day that would have otherwise been lost to the disease.

Finding cancer’s causes and cures through groundbreaking research like targeted therapies and personalized medicine that tailor treatments to the unique characteristics of each patient.

Finding new ways to prevent cancer and detect it at its earliest, most treatable stages.

Answering questions and providing resources for more than one million people via phone, e-mail, and online chat at 1-800-227-2345 and cancer.org.

Helping cancer patients access treatment through free rides and free and low-cost lodging.

Providing cancer patients with a free place to stay, starting in November 2016 with Hope Lodge Hawaii in Honolulu.

Relay is a community-based event where teams and individuals set up campsites and take turns walking or running around a track.

Cancer survivors and caregivers take a celebratory first lap to start each event.

Teams and individuals can sign up for the benefit by visiting www.relayforlife.org/westmauihi or by calling 1-877-957-7848.

“I personally think that Relay For Life is such a great way to get communities, schools, businesses, health organizations, churches and clubs involved to get educated; to understand the services that ACS offers to cancer patients; to help celebrate; to remember those that lost their battle to this disease, and those that are still with us; and to fight back by pledging their support in helping ACS, and survivors like myself, to find a cure,” said Matsumoto.