About Relay For Life

Relay For Life is a 24 hour event that brings the whole community together to Celebrate the lives of cancer survivors, to Remember those whom we have lost to the disease and to Fight Back by increasing our knowledge of cancer and by raising money to fund vital research and services of the Irish Cancer Society.

View of Relay For Life happening in a field with lots of people and balloons

At Relay, teams of family members and friends commit to having at least one team member walking around the track at all times. While they are doing that, a festival of fun and entertainment takes place which unites the community in the fight against cancer. The money that is raised by Relay enables the Irish Cancer Society to continue its life saving work.

A family taking part in Relay For Life

Relay events take place in colleges and communities across Ireland throughout the year.

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Relay For Life across the world

Relay For Life started in the 1980s and was created by the American Cancer Society. In recent years the concept has gone global and Relay For Life events are now held in more than 20 countries around the world. The events give communities around the world a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember lost loved ones, and fight back against the disease.

How Relay For Life helps in the fight against cancer

Cancer can leave a lot of pain and heartache in its wake. But it can also inspire people to come together and do some wonderful things.

Relay For Life events are organised entirely by communities so that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and in the hope that one day cancer will be eliminated.

Thanks to the support of the amazing volunteers who organise Relay in their communities each year, progress is being made in the fight against cancer.

More people are surviving cancer thanks to awareness that leads to cancer being caught and treated earlier.

Infographic showing Irish Cancer Society impactFunds raised at Relay For Life help to fund life-saving cancer research happening here in Ireland, as well as to deliver support and services for cancer patients and their loved ones in every community in Ireland.

Services include the Irish Cancer Society's free information services like the Cancer Nurseline and Daffodil Centres where patients and their loved ones can access free, confidential information and support, as well as practical services like lifts to chemotherapy appointments from volunteer drivers and end of life care in homes for patients who are not going to survive their cancer diagnosis.

Learn more about the impact of events like Relay in the fight against cancer.

Get involved in Relay For Life

There are many ways to participate in a Relay For Life event:

Create a team - If you’re passionate about fighting back against cancer and can gather together a committed group of people to join you in that fight, you can start your own Relay For Life team in your community or school. Find your local event and sign up today!

A team at Relay For Life

Remember someone lost to cancer - Purchase a candle bag that will be placed during the moving Candle of Hope ceremony at your local Relay For Life. At dusk, the candles are lit in a moving tribute to those who have been lost to the disease. Make a small donation and dedicate a candle bag.

Relay For Life candle of hope ceremony

Volunteer - Join a committee, or volunteer to help on the day of the event in one of the Relays in Ireland. Contact the Relay For Life team for more information.

Drop by your local Relay For Life - Join in the fun and visit a Relay event with your friends and family. If you are a cancer survivor, register with your local Relay in Ireland and walk the survivors’ lap that kicks off every event. You can see a list of events here or on Facebook.

Bring Relay to your community - If you don't have a local Relay in your area, consider starting one! Simply fill out our interest form and one of our Relay team will get back to you with what's involved.