American Cancer Society Relay For Life Last week, Memorial Hermann Northeast helped the American Cancer Society Humble and Kingwood Relay for Life begin their journey to battle cancer in 2009. In support of the event, the hospital donated $10,000 to the sponsorship fund. Shirley Bailey, a second-year event chair, projected a $50,000 sponsorship goal for 2009. “Memorial Hermann is a great support. With their donations and permission to use the facilities, they really help the team out,” said Bailey. The Cancer Center at Memorial Hermann is proudly recognized and accredited by the Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. It has been accredited since 1992, meeting the standards for quality, multidisciplinary cancer patient care and complying with 36 different standards that the Commission on Cancer requires. “Because we have a major commitment to cancer care in our community, we also have a major commitment to our cancer patients. Becoming title sponsor for Relay for Life is one way that we are able to help our patients, families and loved ones to celebrate their victory over cancer,” said Tom Broad, business unit marketing director at Memorial Hermann. The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is an event that brings together more than 3.5 million people nationwide every year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and empower individual communities to fight back against the disease. The event begins in the evening and lasts until the sun comes up the next day, paralleling the course of cancer. In the beginning stages, it may seem dark and lonely, but as time progresses and families come together, there is chance for beauty and light once again. Families and friends come together to simply camp out and enjoy each other. “You laugh, you cry, you laugh, you cry. It’s one big roller coaster ride,” said Bailey. ACS Relay expects to raise $100,000 for 2009. Last year’s event raised $93,132, had 41 teams and 182 survivors in attendance. This year, Bailey announced that Relay is in need of 60 teams. They currently have 15 signed up. Additional goals are to have 75 caregivers and 250 survivors attend the event. Though the team knows they will be fighting against cancer and the economy this year, they are willing to put forth every effort they have to cross the finish line with their set goals. This year’s Relay for Life will be especially unique to Humble/Kingwood community. Linda Wuest, one of Memorial Hermann’s nurse oncologists, has taken the job to be the Cancer Prevention Study-3 Volunteer Chair. The ACS’s department of Epidemiology and Surveillance Research is interested in discovering new and improved ways to prevent cancer, so this year they are recruiting 500,000 adults across the U. S. and Puerto Rico for a new research called Cancer Prevention Study-3. Memorial Hermann is the only hospital in the Northeast Houston area that will be participating in recruiting members for the study. Potential candidates must be between the ages of 30 and 65 years old. Other requirements will be provided during the walk. “This research is an opportunity for those who haven’t had cancer to make a difference,” said Wuest. Carrie Koshkin, Relay’s marketing and publicity chair, is excited about kicking off for the new year. She has worked hard to meet deadlines and raise awareness about the upcoming event. “I am hoping we reach all of our goals this year. And, this a fun way for me to get together with all my friends and just hang out,” she said. Patti Fisk, a seven-year cancer survivor, is Relay’s Survivor co-chair. For several years, she has dyed her hair purple which serves to be the symbolic color of cancer. “I dye my hair purple to make people more aware of cancer and how serious it really is,” she said. “We will do anything and everything for one another and for Relay.” Relay for Life of Humble and Kingwood will start at 7 p.m. March 27. For more information, on becoming involved with Relay for Life, contact Shirley Bailey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit www.relayforlife.org/humblekingwoodtx. Photos: (Top) Hunter Knox, left, gives his sister Kinsey Knox, a loving kiss on the cheek in excitement for the upcoming Relay for Life scheduled for March 27. (Bottom) Linda Wuest, left, is this year’s CPS-3 volunteer chair. Wuest, along with Relay for Life’s Regional Co-chair Jennifer Howell, middle, and Relay’s second year regional Council Chair Shirley Bailey, right, are ready to fight against cancer in 2009.

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