Relay For Life: A Story of Hope

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Long Island's Andrew Fierstein Inspires Others Through Relay For Life of North Shore

Glen Head, NY (April 12. 2010) - Like anyone at Relay For Life, Andrew Fierstein participates to support the American Cancer Society, to have fun with his family and friends and to stay up all night to fight cancer. Unlike many other high school sophomores, however, Andrew’s reasons for Relaying hit much closer to home: His own ten year battle with cancer.

His story starts off simple enough, as these things often do – as a five year old child with a lump on his arm. That lump, the passing moment of normalcy after a bout of arm wrestling with older brother Evan, was later diagnosed as Ewing’s Sarcoma. Fast forward through the next decade or so, past the three rib removals, three brain surgeries (most recently this past February), a limb sparing surgery to his right arm, an allograft of a 40 year old woman’s arm to recreate his elbow, the removal of the lower left lobe of his lung, dozens of rounds of radiation, and gallons of chemotherapy, Andrew is still living, defiantly, with cancer.

Andrew’s story should have been a sad one; a childhood riddled with doctor’s visits, medical treatments and no less than six major surgeries. Yet, what makes Andrew such a remarkable young man is that he was able to turn that story into a tale of inspiration, hope and heroism. 

Andrew started his Relay For Life journey at the Relay For Life of Locust Valley, NY in 2006, and with his friends and family at his side, immediately became a top fundraiser. Relay For Life is an overnight fundraising event, in which teams of friends and families, join together to raise money to support the American Cancer Society. They then attend Relay For Life and commit to having a team member always walking around the track to show their support in the fight against cancer. Andrew became an immediate Relay For Life sensation and inspiration to those around him with his seemingly endless reservoir of strength, optimism and love for life. Andrew has spread his message of hope and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds at numerous American Cancer Society events, touching the lives of thousands of people across the Metro New York area.

Since Relay For Life has come to North Shore in 2007, Andrew has been the one constant force that galvanizes everyone around him to show their support for the American Cancer Society’s mission to eradicate cancer. In the five years that Andrew and his LiveStrong Team have participated in Relay For Life they have raised over $125,000, more than any other team in all of Nassau County.

Andrew’s commitment to Relay For Life is nothing short of astonishing. Case in point, in 2008, Andrew had surgery to remove a cancerous mass in his brain eight days before Relay For Life. And yet, somehow, come the event’s Survivor’s Reception and Opening Ceremonies, there was Andrew’s infectious smile as he took a well-deserved victory lap to thunderous applause.

Whether you are a cancer survivor, a caregiver of someone who has battled cancer or just someone who dreams of a cancer free future, you are encouraged to get involved in Relay For Life and become the “Andrew Fierstein” that your community needs.

Relay For Life events are taking place across New York and New Jersey this year including on Saturday, June 4th, at the North Shore High School Track. Andrew and his LiveStrong Team will once again show the power of hope in the battle against cancer.

Relay For Life is for anyone who has been touched by cancer and a tangible way to do something proactive to make sure all the Andrew Fiersteins of the world get to celebrate more birthdays.

For more information about a Relay For Life near you visit relayforlife.org or call 1-800-227-2345.

Additional Resources:
American Cancer Society Relay For Life
Andrew Fierstein's Relay For Life team page
Watch: Andrew Fierstein speak at the Relay For Life

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About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.