One of Langley's Relay for Life teams joined the cause specifically because it raises money to fight all types of cancers.
Team Dochas (a Gaelic word meaning "hope", pronounced Do-kus) is captained by Maureen Miller, and composed of her family members.
This Friday will mark Team Dokas's third year participating. Miller wrote about her family's reasons for raising money for the Canadian Cancer Society in a Why We Relay essay.
"Cancer had not been kind to my family-" Miller wrote.
In 1999, her mother died of malignant melanoma, just eight weeks after being diagnosed. Her brother, Steve, fought a long battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and eventually died after it recurred, when he was just 44 years old.
Her mother in law died of a brain tumour four months later, and in the last 15 years, she and her sisters have also lost an uncle to prostate cancer and an aunt to ovarian cancer.
The family had always been involved in cancer fundraisers and donating to various causes, Miller said.
But when her sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, she realized how many important it was to her to fight all types of the disease. There are hundreds of types of cancers.
"It was at this point that I fully realized how relentless cancer can be," Miller wrote. "My family had been struck by four different types of cancers within a period of 10 years, and six types when you include my uncle and aunt."
Her sister picked the team's name, and they have held Irish-themed fundraisers, including raffles and a big fundraising dinner complete with a band and Irish dancers.
Miller suggested that anyone considering taking part in Relay for Life "go for it."
The Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life will take place this Friday night and into the early hours of Saturday, at McLeod Athletic Park.
It is one of dozens of Relay for Life events that will be held around British Columbia and across Canada. Participants raise money in advance, and pledge to take part in a 12-hour non-competitive relay around the track. From 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next morning, they will take it in turns to walk, as well as taking part in contests, listening to bands, and socializing and eating, to keep fueled.
Those gathered will also hear from cancer survivors, and will have a moment of silence to remember those who have died.
For more information, or to donate to a team, visit www.relaybc.ca/2012.