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And they’re off!

American Cancer Society kicks off Second Annual Relay for Life.

By Kim Devore/Staff Writer

Hundreds of cancer survivors, their friends and family are expected to lace up their trainers this weekend for the Second Annual Malibu Relay for Life. The 24-hour event takes place on Friday and Saturday on the track at Malibu High School.

“It’s a 24 -hour event because it reminds people that cancer isn’t a 9-to-5 thing,” explains relay organizer Marsha Coron. “Cancer patients battle the disease 24 hours a day.”

Coron has been with the local cancer society for more than two decades and says that, although a cure could be miles away, great strides have been made.

“Almost every family has been touched by cancer,” she says. “But attitudes have changed. We are so much more aware of our diet, nutrition, the environment, smoking, all kinds of things we can do to prevent cancer. And there are many more cancer survivors.”

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One of the survivors taking part in the relay will be Debby Feldman, who has been free of cancer for eight years. In that time, she has participated in the AIDS ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles, has climbed to the base camp at Mt. Everest and plans to scale Kilimanjaro this year. Another well-known participant is singer and breast cancer survivor Olivia Newton-John, who is serving as the event’s honorary chair.

The goal for this year’s event is to surpass the $57,000 that was raised last year.

Registration for the relay will take place on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. The program kicks off with an opening ceremony at 7 p.m., followed by celebrity speakers and a luminaria at 8 p.m. Silent walkers will walk through the night from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. There will be entertainment, food, games and activities throughout the day Saturday and the final lap will begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information call 310.348.0356.

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