Relay for Life, an overnight fundraising event, is sponsored annually by the American Cancer Society. Sierra Shoopman has participated in Relay for Life at least 12 times, including during her high school years and while she was a student at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Relay for life has roots in Sierra’s home state of Washington, as the first race took place in Tacoma in 1985. Since that time, Relay for Life has earned more than $4 billion. Today, hundreds of races are held across the United States. In addition, global relays are held in 20 countries around the world. Community relays generally take place at fairgrounds, parks, or schools. The Cancer Society also hosts college and high school relays, as well as Bark for Life, an event that celebrates canine companions. Each relay begins with a “Survivor Lap,” when cancer survivors have the opportunity to walk a lap to celebrate their victor, followed by a “Caregiver’s Lap,” which recognizes those who provide care, and have provided care, to cancer patients.