Why they walk — teens prepare for Relay for Life

May 17, 2011

In 2000, Michael Cecil’s mother learned she had a carcinoma so rare that it had only been diagnosed in 100 people.

Now a sophomore at Issaquah High School, Cecil continues to support his mother — a cancer survivor — by walking in Relay for Life of Issaquah. He started walking in the annual event the year after her diagnosis, making this year his 10th relay.

“It’s a fun way to get a bunch of people together for a great cause,” Cecil said.

From 2008 until now, he has registered as a team captain. Like many young people his age, Cecil will stay awake for 20 hours May 21-22, walking around the Skyline High School track and thinking about life and how to beat cancer through fundraising.

Bill Zheng, a Skyline student, is leading a relay team of his own. His grandmother lost an eight-year battle with cancer, and he walks in honor of her memory.

“When my grandmother died, I was still really young. I didn’t really understand the full spectrum of everything that had just happened,” he wrote in an email. “As the years have passed, I finally have learned to accept it and I want to fight back so that more people don’t have to go through the same thing.”

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City, EFR come in third in Relay for Life donations

July 13, 2010

City of Issaquah and Eastside Fire & Rescue employees came in third in overall fundraising for the 2010 Relay for Life event. They raised more than $9,000 for the American Cancer Society and were presented with the Diamond Award for their efforts.

“Participating in Relay has become a city tradition for us,” city spokeswoman Autumn Monahan said. “Our employees faithfully support the cause through donations, volunteer hours and participation in our annual citywide fundraising event.”

The teams who raised the most money in the Issaquah Relay for Life were Team Aloha with $55,750, and Hank’s High Flyers with $9,583, according to the event website.

“It’s a wonderful way to support those affected by cancer, many of whom are our family members, co-workers and dear friends,” Monahan said.

Find more statistics about this year’s Relay for Life event here.

Walking for a cure

June 8, 2010

Relay for Life tops $225,000 goal

Above, more than 800 people, on 83 different teams, showed up to walk around the clock and raise money for cancer research at Issaquah’s Relay for Life event June 5 and 6 at Skyline High School. Photos By Chantelle Lusebrink

This year, 813 people ran, walked and wheeled in support of finding a cure for cancer at the annual Issaquah Relay for Life June 5 and 6.

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Relay for Life returns Saturday

June 4, 2010

UPDATED — 3 p.m. June 4, 2010

The Issaquah Relay for Life is Saturday and Sunday with teams walking around the track for an 18-hour period.

“The 18 hours represents the typical period of cancer treatment where patients frequently have sleepless nights,” co-chair Stacy Strickland explained.

Last year, 80 teams participated, with about 60 percent of those high school and middle school students. They raked in $220,000.

“So many have been touched by cancer, but the bad economic times don’t care about cancer,” she said. “So, it’s so refreshing to see how many still provide donations.”

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Relay lights the way for cancer research

May 18, 2010

Stacy Strickland’s father was diagnosed with lung carcinoma in 1992, when she was just 16. Six weeks later, he succumbed to the disease.

“It was a tough thing for anyone to go through,” Strickland said. “Especially for a 16-year-old.”

It would take her 18 years to find an outlet in the community to help support the American Cancer Society.

“Ironically, I found about the Relay for Life from an article in The Issaquah Press,” she said.

She joined the next year. She has since been a team captain, a planning team member and is event co-chair this year.

The concept for the Relay for Life is fairly simple. Form a team, with each member tasked to raise at least $100 for walking around the track for an 18-hour period.

“The 18 hours represents the typical period of cancer treatment where patients frequently have sleepless nights,” Strickland explained. “At the beginning of the event, you feel the adrenaline rush and then by morning you’re exhausted, but still have the feeling of ‘I did it.’”

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Off The Press

May 18, 2010

To be successful, this marathon is a team sport

Bob Taylor Press sports editor

The doctor walked into the conference room and set my medical file down on the table. She had a long, forlorn look. I could tell she was not bringing me good news.

“The test results came in and,” after pausing for a second, she continued, “you have cancer.”

Now, I like to joke with my doctors. I was trying to find a humorous comeback, but nothing was coming to mind. With cancer, there just isn’t anything funny.

Finally, I replied, “Is this one of those cancers that can be cured quickly?” Already I was thinking about covering high school sports in the fall.

The doctor answered, “No. This is one of the bad ones. You have multiple myeloma.” Read more

Press Editorial

April 27, 2010

City governance was more than a job for Kos

It’s hard to imagine the city of Issaquah without City Administrator Leon Kos behind the scenes. When he arrived in 1977, Issaquah was still a one-stoplight town. He has been there for every stoplight since. Read more

Community leaders of tomorrow

February 23, 2010

Youth activism can lead to a better world

Teens today are changing the world one day and one life at a time and Issaquah youths are joining the movement.

Volunteering by 16- to 19-year-olds has more than doubled since 1989, from 13.4 percent to 28.4 percent, according to a 2007 report from The Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that oversees service programs in the U.S. Volunteering by that age group is also 36 percent higher than it was in 1974, when it was 20.9 percent. Today, 8.2 million people ages 16-24 volunteer their time.

Mitchell Byron, a Liberty High School alumni who volunteered for Athletes for Kids and is deaf, is one of them.

“I want to give back to a community that has given so much to me,” he said.

Students are learning philanthropy at home; through community organizations, like Kiwanis and Rotary clubs; in children’s leadership groups; and in school, according to the agency’s reports.

Locally, there is an Issaquah School Board policy dedicated to ensuring students learn philanthropy before they graduate, said Superintendent Steve Rasmussen.

“Globally, we want kids to know that we’re in a world that they can impact, personally and in larger groups,” he said. “I want them to know what they do impacts the rest of the world, and it is incumbent upon them to be much wiser than my generation.”

Students in Issaquah have taken that message to heart, not just for their grades, but also in hopes of leaving their world better.

“We have to take action to see the outcome that we want,” said Lindsay Baringer, a senior at Issaquah High School who volunteers with the Issaquah Schools Foundation. “If you help out, the world will be a nicer place to live.”

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Relay For Life / May 30, 2009

June 4, 2009

Top relay team plans ice skating show fundraiser

March 23, 2009

The official Issaquah Relay for Life event is still over two months away. But that’s not stopping one group of enterprising teens from getting a head start on fundraising to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s annual event in June.

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