Polk County Relay for Life was Saturday through Sunday morning at Riverview Park in Independence. Relay for Life, an American Cancer Society event, is a 24-hour walk and fundraiser to help find a cure for cancer. It also raises money for programs that are built to support those in the battle.

Polk County’s 24-hour event is one of the few remaining of its kind. It is considered a heritage event. Most others have transitioned to a shorter relay. Spending a full day in the sun walking laps is not easy. It is draining. Relayers dance and sing and work hard to keep spirits up through the day and night.

The long, hard day is the culmination of months raising money through various fundraisers. Participating in Relay for Life is not like a walk in the park — it takes work.

So does fighting cancer. Relayers know that cancer doesn’t sleep, and they won’t stop fighting until a cure is found. They know someone — and you probably do, too — who battled, or is battling the disease. They all have reasons for why they do it.

But when it’s your turn — or the turn of someone you love — to hear the word “cancer” in the doctor’s office, hopefully it’s that they caught it early and can treat it. Remember these advancements in medicine come because of research. Some of that research has been funded by events such as Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society.

For more information about the event and resources available to those fighting cancer: www.cancer.org.

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