With the American Cancer Society Relay For Life season now upon us, the American Cancer Society would like to remind everyone how important these events are in the fight against cancer. Thousands of Iowans benefit from the money that is raised at your local Relay For Life.

• Research—Currently, 12 cancer researchers in Iowa are funded by the American Cancer Society at a total of $6.9 million. No single nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization in the US has invested more to find the causes and cures of cancer than the American Cancer Society.

• Lodging—The Russell and Ann Gerdin American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Iowa City provides a home-away-from-home for cancer patients at no cost. For months now, the Hope Lodge has been running at maximum capacity, and saves cancer patients over $1 million annually in lodging costs. The American Cancer Society has also been leading the way in working with the Iowa Lodging Association in making hotel rooms across Iowa available to cancer patients at no cost. Currently, more than 30 hotels are part of this program providing thousands of room nights available greatly reducing the financial burden of cancer to patients and their families.

• The toll-free 800 number and website—Not only is the American Cancer Society in your community fighting cancer, but in your home, as well. In 2013, over 1 million calls were made to our toll-free number, 1-800-ACS-2345, available 24/7, for information, help, or maybe just someone to talk to. Our website, www.cancer.org, receives about 25 million visitors annually, and is recognized as one of the leading resources for online cancer information.

The American Cancer Society began its work in 1913, when cancer was a certain death sentence. Thanks to American Cancer Society volunteers the five-year survival rate for all cancers is now 68%. Since the 1990s, that’s 350 more lives saved each and every day. We could not do the work we do without the more than 5,400 outstanding volunteers we have in Iowa.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life at Iowa State University is being held on March 7th and 8th starting at 7 p.m. at Lied Rec in Ames. Join the fight against cancer at relayforlife.org/iowastate. For more information on how to get involved with the American Cancer Society in Story County, please contact Neal Bohnet at 515.215.1093 or neal.bohnet@cancer.org.

We would also like to thank our sponsors: Ames Ford Lincoln, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Sam’s Club of Ames, Barilla, Geisinger Construction, News Talk-KASI and New Rock 105.1.