BY MICHELLE MOWAD
One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. Community members can step up to celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to the disease and raise money to fight back at the first Relay for Life in Solana Beach on July 11 and 12.
The Relay for Life at Earl Warren Middle School is one of 74 fundraising events scheduled by the American Cancer Society in San Diego and Riverside counties this year. The Relay is an overnight event requiring teams to have at least one participant walking on the track at all times for 24 hours.
Stacey Williams, Relay for Life manager in San Diego County, was impressed with the community interest and commitment by volunteers and participants in Solana Beach weeks before the event.
"It is really the volunteers in the community that make it happen," Williams said. "We were lucky to find great community members in Solana Beach that are really passionate about finding a cure for cancer. The Chamber of Commerce and other community members have really taken the reins and are absolutely amazing."
David Carroll, president of the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce and event chairman for the Relay for Life in Solana Beach, said walking in the Relay for Life demonstrates his passion and compassion for victims and survivors of cancer. Carroll, who lost a wife to breast cancer and whose current wife is a cancer survivor, lost seven family members to cancer in the past six years.
"I am so tired of losing this battle that I want to shout from the rooftops and fight back by raising money for the American Cancer Society to continue funding research that is winning battles one at a time," Carroll said.
Most participants relay because they want to see an end to cancer in their lifetime.
Jeremy Janz, Relay for Life of Solana Beach sponsorship chairman, stepped up to participate in the Relay for Life after losing his grandfather to cancer two years ago.
"I truly believe in this community and felt this was a great opportunity to honor my grandfather," said Janz, who lives in the UTC area.
A week before the Solana Beach Relay for Life 20 teams consisting of 130 walkers had raised $15,000. Williams anticipates these numbers will double by the start of the event at 9 a.m. July 11. Money raised will stay locally to support American Cancer Society programs that are free for those affected by cancer.
Participants are urged but not required to raise money. To register visit
or call (619) 209-9843.