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Join the fight against cancer

By Staff | Jul 23, 2009

This year in Hawaii, more than 4,700 people will be diagnosed with cancer. An estimated 2,000 island residents will die from the disease.

The American Cancer Society is accurate in stating that “cancer touches the lives of everyone.” Cancer is so devastating that your risk of developing it is 45 percent – roughly one out of every two Americans. One in four people is at risk of dying from the disease.

In Hawaii, cancer is the leading cause of death for Asian American and Pacific Islander families.

Given these staggering numbers and cancer’s impact on our families, we need to find a cure. It’s equally important to educate residents on ways to detect cancer while it’s still in its early stages and treatable.

West Side residents can join the fight against cancer through the West Maui Relay For Life on Saturday, July 25, at 6 p.m. at Lahaina Recreation Center.

Featuring fund-raising teams of coworkers, families and friends, Relay For Life is a fun overnight event to celebrate survivorship (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer), remember loved ones who died from the disease, and raise money to support American Cancer Society’s mission of eliminating cancer as a major health threat.

During the event, team members take turns walking laps. Each team tries to keep at least one member on the track at all times.

But Relay For Life is no somber track meet – it’s a celebration! Residents can come out to learn about ACS efforts on Maui and enjoy entertainment with Isle of Maui Pipe Band at 6:30 p.m., Halau Nawaipunalei/Pono Murray and band at 6:30 p.m., Bailes de Pilipinas (traditional Filipino dancing) at 7:10 p.m., square dancing and American folk dancing at 7:35 p.m., West Maui Cow Girls (country line dancing) at 8:10 p.m., Pacific Vibrations at 8:40 p.m., Fulton Tashombe (jazz) at 9:40 p.m. and the Wilmont Kahaialii Band at 11:20 p.m.

Inspiring facets of the event include the Survivor Dinner from 5 to 6 p.m.; blessing, Survivor Lap and Opening Lap from 6 to 6:30 p.m.; moving Luminaria Ceremony from 10:30 to 11 p.m.; and Fight Back Ceremony with Richard Deal and Sen. Roz Baker from 11 to 11:20 p.m.

To support the event, contact Chairman Greg Smith at westmauirfl@hotmail.com or Teams Coordinator Dawn Fujiwara at kenui@aol.com or 669-6190.

Join your friends and neighbors on the West Side and fight back against cancer Saturday.