The Relay For Life program in France is organized through "La ligue contre le cancer" (The French League Against Cancer). The League was founded in 1918 and is an apolitical organization, which is also financially independent. This means that The League relies heavily on its volunteers to help in the fight against cancerand that is why Relay For Life is an important event for us: not just to raise money, but to raise awareness.
The main missions of the French League Against Cancer:
- Research: The League initiates and finances research projects based on these main branches: Fundamental research, clinical research, epidemiological research and social and human sciences
- Prevention: The key factor here is educating people about what can put you at risk of cancer and encouraging people to go to screenings and check-ups regularly
- Improving quality of life for cancer patients and the people who are close to them Helping people with all mental and physical aspects of dealing with cancer whether it be improved comfort for patients in cancer care units, help with the housework, sessions with beauticians or sports coaches, or someone to listen to you when you need to talk.
- Changing mentalities towards cancer: The League speaks up for people who have been affected by cancer in all kinds of different, everyday situations: the way you are treated at work, advice on the healthcare system, the right to live a normal life after cancer.
- Fighting cancer on an international level: The League operates within France but also on an international level and this has been the case right from the start.
Justin Godart founded the Franco-British-American League Against Cancer in 1918 and in 1935 it went on to become a founding member of the Union Internationale contre le cancer (International Union Against Cancer), which we still belong to today. The League is also a member of several other international organizations. The League is always at the forefront of campaigns to prevent cancer and fights tirelessly to protect people.
In September, laws against e-cigarettes and where you're allowed to smoke them came into effect; in March the French President Francois Hollande visited the League's headquarters in Paris and signed an agreement for former cancer patients to be allowed to take out loans or get insurance without having their cancer taken into account after a certain period of time; The League is currently campaigning to get pesticides which contain harmfulcarcinogenic substances banned.
These are some of the reasons why I am glad to be part of the League. I am proud to be part of an organization that realizes that we are stronger together, not only as a nation but as a whole world full of people, no matter what your age, politics or race might be. For me, Relays are symbolic of us all pulling together to protect ourselves and future generations across the world from cancer - a great way to pass the baton of support and unity over land and sea.