Thousands of Iowans are helping raise up to five-million dollars for cancer research this summer — just by walking. Relay For Life events are being held in cities across the state to benefit the American Cancer Society, where Iowa spokeswoman Kathy Holedefer says much of the money raised goes toward cancer research projects underway in Iowa.
Holedefer says at least 38-thousand Iowans are taking part in Relay For Life events this year statewide in more than 90 Iowa communities. While many of the events are underway this month, she says some relays were held as early as April while others will be run as late as September.
Holedefer says the relay events are helping the agency to reach its goal of diminishing suffering from cancer through research, education, advocacy and service.
Holedefer says the Relay For Life events provide the bulk of the funding for the agency’s efforts, including a 720-thousand dollar cancer research grant in Iowa City. That’s for the first year of a four-year study being headed by U-of-I biochemist Todd Washington, who’s researching an enzyme which plays a crucial role in virtually all genetic mutations leading to cancer.
Holedefer says he’s one of many in Iowa who are working hard toward the same goal. There are currently nine Iowa scientists that are getting a combined three-million dollars in funding from the American Cancer Society. She says when you consider how many states are also funding research, “we’re really making a lot of advances.”
In the past 60 years, the agency has spent some three-billion dollars on research, more than any other non-government source of cancer research funding in the U.S. For more information, call 800-ACS-2345 or surf to “www.cancer.org”.