Relay for Life Donegal will return to Letterkenny in May, following what last year was the largest first-ever Relay for Life event in the world, organisers heard at last week’s launch.
The size of last year’s event, the first Relay for Life in Donegal, reflected the number of people in Donegal whose lives have been touched by cancer, said Siubhan Gillespie, a cancer survivor and head of team recruitment and development for this year’s event.
“We were just bowled over last year with the community spirit that it brought out in all the different communities where the teams were,” Siubhan said.
The Irish Cancer Society fundraiser drew thousands of people to the Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) on May 26th-27th, 2012, with 60 teams participating in a 24-hour relay that raised nearly €350,000. About €240,000 went to cancer services in Donegal, including the new Irish Cancer Society Daffodil Centre for cancer information and support that will open this spring, with the balance going toward research.
This year, all funds raised will go to research, said Donegal Relay for Life Chairperson, Robert O’Connor.
This year’s relay returns to LYIT from 6pm, May 25th, until 6pm, May 26th.
“The important thing this year, apart from us looking for teams, is we really want everyone who has survived to come forward and celebrate,” said Suibhan, who herself recently marked 10 years post-treatment. Last year 500 cancer survivors took part in the inaugural lap of honour and were joined by carers in the second lap.
“We would hope there would be more people coming forward, and other very important people to be there as well are the carers who brought people through it,” Suibhan said. “Even if their people are no longer with us, we would still love for them to join us.”
For more information on teams, contact Siubhan on 086 8519948 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For other Relay for Life Donegal enquiries, email email@example.com.