Relay for Life Donegal 2017 launched

The sixth annual Irish Cancer Society fundraiser returns on May 27th and 28th

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Relay for Life Donegal 2017 launched

Committee members, supporters and team captains at the launch of the 2017 Relay For Life Donegal on Tuesday night. Photo Clive Wasson

The sixth annual Relay for Life Donegal was launched last night, Tuesday, before an audience of committee members, supporters and team captains.

The annual fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society will return to the grounds of the Letterkenny Institute of Technology on May 27th and 28th.

Robert O'Connor, Relay for Life chairperson, said the committee wanted to sincerely thank people for the support they have given the 24-hour fundraiser over the last five years, and said he hoped people would again support the effort this year.

Relay for Life Donegal supports Irish Cancer Society services in Donegal. Last week, the Irish Cancer Society announced a €100,000 research project to investigate how cancer survivors can live well following their treatment. The research will be conducted in Letterkenny University Hospital, and was made possible due to the support of events like Relay.

"The research will examine ways to improve the physical health and mental well-being of cancer patients right here in our community and indeed be used as a model to drive improvements in cancer care throughout Ireland," Robert said, saying the research project, "is really special to us in Donegal".

Thousands of people attend

The relay weekend each year sees thousands of people coming to Letterkenny Institute of Technology as teams walk around a track all night and the following day, raising funds for the work of the cancer society.

Robert said Relay for Life Donegal has already registered its first team for 2017: Fifteen American women are coming from different parts of the United States in a team called Relay Nation. He said the women had attended different Relay for Life events in the States but this will be their first outside of the country.

They had been watching the livestream of Relay for Life Donegal over the years, "and they said, 'We're going to do that,'" Robert said.