Coachella Valley communities participate in The Relay for Life of Indio cancer walk

Cancer survivors were the first to walk a lap around Shadow Hills High School's running track, the morning of March 8, 2014 (Lenin SIlva/The Chaparral)
Cancer survivors were the first to walk a lap around Shadow Hills High School’s running track, the morning of March 8, 2014 (Lenin Silva/The Chaparral)

By Lenin Silva

The American Cancer Society, held a “Relay For Life” cancer walk, in the city of Indio, Ca, at Shadow Hills High School’s football field, on the morning of March 8, 2014. The event took place all day Saturday and concluded on Sunday morning.

Over thirty-three teams participated in the cancer walk. Most teams, including College of the Desert’s Alumni Association, set up large tents surrounding the inner perimeter of the high school’s running track. Freshly prepared food, baked goods, plastic toys, wearable accessories, t-shirts, and other items were sold by the teams at their tents. A percentage of the profits made by the teams went towards funding the American Cancer Society and future endeavors towards finding a cure for cancer.

College of the Desert students, Cristal Salcido, Nick Alatorre, and COD Alumni Board member, Soleil Rubalcava, made an appearance at the cancer walk, representing the COD Alumni Association. COD student, Nick Alatorre, participated in the walk as a cancer survivor. Alatorre, survived a battle with colon cancer, and has been cancer free since August of 2012.

The “Relay for Life,” began in 1985 in Tacoma, Washington. One out of every 100 Americans participate in the Relay. International “Relay for Life” events are now held in more than 600 communities spanning 19 countries outside the United States. “Relay for Life” is the largest, private, nonprofit source for cancer research. The relay funds junior researchers, whose research towards a cure for cancer would have been lost otherwise.

Information, and pamphlets describing cancer prevention techniques, and general statistical information regarding cancer sufferers, were distributed to those who participated.

The American Cancer Society, suggests that people choose snacks wisely in order to maintain a healthy weight. “Eating right and being active may help reduce your risk of some cancers,” said a spokesperson for the cancer society. “Be active for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week! Our early detection guidelines save thousands of lives every year.”

Breast cancer death rates have been declining since 1990. Early detection can prevent nearly 90% of colon cancer cases and deaths. More than 10 million Americans alive today are cancer survivors.

For more information on the Relay For Life of Indio, visit

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