A woman photographs luminaria at the 2019 Hancock County Relay for Life in Ellsworth. This year’s event will be held virtually. FILE PHOTO

Relay for Life goes digital

ELLSWORTH — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, previously scheduled Relay for Life events across Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire through June have been suspended. Instead, a virtual online experience called Hope from Home will be held June 7.

Participants should register for their local event at http://RelayForLife.org and then on June 7 join the activities at https://bit.ly/RelayHopeFromHome.

Community volunteers and American Cancer Society staff from 50 events around the region, including the annual Hancock County Relay for Life, have teamed up for Hope from Home. The event will take place primarily on Facebook and will feature a mix of live and pre-recorded segments, plus prompts to post comments, photos and videos. It is all designed to celebrate cancer survivors and caregivers, to remember those who have passed away and to empower all to continue the fight against the disease.

Collectively, these events are aiming to raise $500,000 in total this year. This money enables the American Cancer Society to help cancer patients, a population vulnerable to COVID-19, to navigate their cancer journey during a pandemic. The society offers advice on coping with cancer treatment side effects, answers questions about health insurance and much more. Donations fund a round-the-clock toll-free helpline (800-227-2345) and live chat at cancer.org; support research into cancer’s causes, cures and treatments; and promote education to reduce the risk of a diagnosis and to detect cancer as early as possible.

“During this difficult time, cancer hasn’t stopped, and neither will we,” said Louise Santosuosso, executive director for community development at the American Cancer Society. “Relay for Life is all about togetherness, but the safety of our patients, survivors, volunteers and staff is always a top priority. So, even though we cannot walk side-by-side right now, everyone around eastern New England can stand together with us online for Hope from Home.”

All are invited to join Hope from Home on Sunday, June 7. Visit https://bit.ly/RelayHopeFromHome for more information.