What Is Relay?

Relay for Life is a celebration of cancer survivorship and community spirit. The event began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt, a Tacoma, Washington, colorectal surgeon raised $27,000 for the fight against cancer by running the track at Baker, Stadium at the University of Puget Sound, for 24 hours. Klatt's friends paid $25.00 to run or walk 30 minutes with the doctor as he logged more than 83 miles throughout the night.

In 1986, 19 teams took part in Washington's first team relay event raising $33,000. Today, more than 4,400 Relays occur throughout the US with 16 nations joining the efforts for more than three million total participants. Together, survivors and those impacted by cancer have raised more than $364 million worldwide. In addition to honoring survivors, Relay for Life raises much-needed funds for American Cancer Society research, education, advocacy and patient services.