Local participants circle the track at Redmond High School to help raise money for the American Cancer Society's Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life on Saturday. So far

Local participants circle the track at Redmond High School to help raise money for the American Cancer Society's Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life on Saturday. So far

Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life raises money to help stomp cancer

On Saturday, nearly 300 people gathered into 29 teams at the sun-soaked Redmond High School track to help fight cancer in the American Cancer Society's 13th Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life.

On Saturday, nearly 300 people gathered into 29 teams at the sun-soaked Redmond High School track to help fight cancer in the American Cancer Society’s 13th Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life.

The Relay for Life, held annually in communities around the world, has participants raise money for cancer research by continuously running or walking around a track or field for a full 24 hours. Teams consist of 8-15 participants and are encouraged to always have at least one member on the track at all times.

Teams work year long to secure donations from individuals and corporations with money going towards the American Cancer Society where it helps fund cancer research, cancer education awareness, and a multitude of free programs designed to ease the burden for cancer patients and their families.

According to Kelly Cochran, the local Community Relationship Manager for the American Cancer Society, this year’s Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life raised close to $70,000 of the $90,000 goal.

While the money raised at Saturday’s event will help fund programs around the nation, the Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life also serves to bring together the local community and increase awareness for cancer research and education.

Rose Guerrero, a director of cancer services at the Evergreen Hospital Medical Center, and Sue Smiley, a radiation oncology manager with the hospital, were both at the event as part of the hospital’s annual relay team and said that one in three women and one in two men are at risk of developing cancer in their life times. They spoke about the importance of educating people about cancer risks and believe that the Redmond-Kirkland Relay for Life provides a great opportunity for community members to learn more about cancer.

While describing the role in which Evergreen helps fight cancer Guerrero said, “we are in the hope business.” Guerrero and Smiley stressed that current research and new early detection techniques, in part funded by events like the Relay for Life, have greatly increased the survival rates for those diagnosed with cancer, bringing hope to patients and their families.


The heart and soul of any Relay for Life event are the volunteers and participants who work over the course of the year to plan, organize, and raise money for cancer awareness and research.

Many participants are cancer survivors themselves or have close personal ties to cancer patients

Cindy Sheehan, a seven-year breast cancer survivor, is participating in her seventh Relay for Life and has raised more than $6,000 in individual donations this year for cancer research.

For Sheenan, like many participants, the Relay is more than just a chance to fight for a cure, but is a personal statement of perseverance and remembrance.

“I have a real passion for the cause,” Sheehan said, describing her own battle with breast cancer and the loss of two of her siblings to cancer.

The deep mark cancer has left on Sheehan’s family, and her dedication to the Relay for Life, inspired her extended family to travel from as far away as Georgia and Iowa to participate in Saturday’s event.

Another participant, Leslie Burns, together with her relay team, the Super Cancer Eating Turtle Team, has raised more than $9,500 dollars this year for the American Cancer Association. Burns’ husband Lyle, for whom the team is dedicated, is a survivor of Multiple Myeloma and Burns’ brother-in-law and sister-in-law are also cancer survivors.

For those experiencing the devastating effects of cancer Burns said that “laughter is the best medicine,” and that families should try and stay positive.


The Relay for Life began in Tacoma in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt decided to raise money for the American Cancer Society by walking around a local university track for a period 24 hours.

Today, the relay is held annually in more than 5,000 communities in the United States and around the world. A large portion of the research money collected through the national Relay for Life program is donated to local Puget Sound institutions to help study the causes and look for cures to cancer.

Anyone wishing to donate to Relay for Life can visit http://www.relayforlife.org/redmondkirklandwa. Donations for this year’s relay will be accepted until August 31.

Taylor Wirtz is a senior at the University of Washington and contributor to the Redmond Reporter.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@redmond-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.redmond-reporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

King County experts discuss extreme heat mitigation plan

The plan includes improving infrastructure and communications to prevent future disasters.

King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterburg (File Photo)
King County Prosecuting Attorney vows to protect reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins over 80 prosecutors from around the country in their pledge.

King County approves emergency grant after U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Washington is expecting an influx of people seeking abortions from out of state.

Fedor Osipov, 15, flips into Steel Lake in Federal Way during last year's heatwave on June 28, 2021. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
Heatwave expected to hit King County

Temperatures will likely reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday, June 26, and Monday, June 27.

Judged by XII: A King County Local Dive podcast. The hands shown here belong to Auburn Police Officer Jeffrey Nelson, who has been charged with homicide in the 2019 death of Jesse Sarey.
JUDGED BY XII: Examining Auburn police officer’s grim tattoos

Episode 5 in special podcast series that explores Jeffrey Nelson’s role in the death of Jesse Sarey.

Derby Days. Courtesy of Experience Redmond.
Mark your calendars for Redmond’s annual Derby Days celebration

Attendees should expect two days of action-packed fun from July 8-9.

File photo.
Former Bellevue teacher sentenced in federal court over child pornography

Department of Justice says the man had 1,764 images of child sexual abuse in his possession.

Photo courtesy of King County.
Officials urge caution when swimming this summer

Cold spring temperatures and larger than normal snowpack have created dangerous conditions

File photo.
Bellevue man charged in 2019 assault that left a man dead on a Redmond roadway

After a two-year investigation, Bradley Hibbard was arrested for murder in the second degree.

Most Read