Travis Cuvelier has been an avid supporter of Relay for Life for many years.
After being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2003 at the young age of five, Travis Cuvelier faced a long and difficult battle with the disease. Thankfully, he is now in remission. Just the following year, Travis stood proudly as the Grand Marshall at a local Relay for Life event in July of 2004.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life began in 1985 when Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington. Since then the overnight community fundraising event has become a phenomenon across the globe. As they celebrate survivors, remembers loved ones lost, and honor the fight of those currently battling cancer, relay participants walk away from the event with an experience like no other.
Each year local organizers choose themes to generate interest and attention to their fundraiser. The themes provide the background for teams to do their individual fundraising around, and create the atmosphere for the overnight event. These themes range from hopeful to the silly side and each team is encouraged to dress for the theme and incorporate it into their camp area. After attending numerous Relay for Life events, Travis Cuvelier has seen many of these awesome themes. Some of his favorite popular themes include:
Super Heroes – Participants are encouraged to dress as their favorite super hero (or villain) or create their own cancer fighting super hero while their campsites are decorated to look like their secret lair. Some events special appearances by the Batmobile, a roped off area with a sign saying it was Wonder Woman’s Invisible Plane and special activities where super heroes and sidekicks alike can test their super powers.
World Travel – Sometimes titled Passport to Hope, these events have teams adopt a country or area of the world to represent in their clothing and camp site. Some organizers focus on the mode of transportation, like Cruise for a Cure which invite participants to dress like they’re going on a cruise, and the whole event takes on a nautical theme.
Fairy Tale – Often featuring princes and princesses, the Fair Tale theme transforms the track the event takes place at into a fantasy land, complete with castles and lots of sparkle. Participants wear crowns and dress like they’re going to a ball. “Once Upon a Cure” and “Wishing on a Cure” are popular titles for these relay events that makes everyone feel like royalty.
No matter the theme, somethings remain the same at Relay for Life events. Every event begins with an opening ceremony followed by a Survivor’s Lap, where cancer survivors celebrate their victory over cancer. A Caregivers Lap recognizes the loved ones who help those battling cancer in their fight. Everyone is invited to walk the first lap with their team during the first official lap of the relay. Luminary bags and candles are lit during the evening in the memory of those who lost their fight with cancer as individuals take over walking laps throughout the night while games and activities keep the fun going. A Fight Back ceremony takes place as everyone walks the final lap pledging to spread awareness on cancer research, treatment and prevention.
Each year Relay for Life raises more than $400 million dollars that’s put to work investing in groundbreaking cancer research, and providing free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers. To learn more about Travis Cuvelier and Relay for Life, check out his profile on about.me: https://about.me/traviscuvelier.