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Ronan Serving as Honorary Chair for Relay For Life of Allegany County

The American Cancer Society has selected Barry Ronan, President and CEO of Western Maryland Health System, to serve as honorary chair for this year’s Relay For Life of Allegany County event, which will take place at Canal Place in Cumberland, MD on June 5, from 6 p.m. to 12 midnight.

Mr. Ronan was selected as Honorary Chair for this year’s event based on his commitment to improving the health of the communities that Western Maryland Health System serves.  He also encourages his employees to participate in events like Relay For Life that help support important resources for their patients.  Beyond his professional reasons to continue the close relationship between Western Maryland Health System and the American Cancer Society, Mr. Ronan has a deep personal connection to the cause.

"Last year, the ravages of cancer struck my family when my son-in-law was diagnosed with high-grade osteosarcoma on his knee.  Here was a strapping 32-year-old full of life thinking that he had torn a ligament, only to get a shocking diagnosis, "explains Ronan.  "He spent a third of 2014 hospitalized, receiving close to 60 chemotherapy treatments and having his knee and part of his femur replaced.  The path was challenging for everyone, but most especially my son-in-law and daughter.  There were bright spots, as it also brought the family much closer together, and the outpouring of love and support toward the both of them was amazing.  I now have a much better understanding of what a cancer diagnosis can do to an individual as well as a family.  I also have a great respect for those who have lived through or may now have such a life-changing diagnosis.”
The Relay For Life program is a community event where teams and individuals set up campsites at a school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path.  Each team has at least one participant on the track at all times.  Cancer survivors and caregivers take a celebratory first lap to start each event.  Teams raise money in the months before the event in a variety of ways.  Four million people participated in more than 6,000 events worldwide last year. In 2014, 550 people participated in the Relay For Life of Allegany County and raised over $83,000, with the Western Maryland Health System’s team of 60 employees and friends raising over $13,500.

"Here in Allegany County, funds raised through the Relay For Life event are making an impact on many lives,” says Ronan.  "From making possible the vital American Cancer Society programs and services that support those in our community facing a diagnosis, to life-changing cancer research and medical discovery, to advocacy for access to quality health care for everyone affected by cancer, the money raised through the Relay For Life of Allegany County event will help us finish the fight against cancer.”

In addition to Mr. Ronan being selected as Honorary Chair for the 2015 Relay For Life of Allegany County, the Western Maryland Health System has generously accepted to become the Premier Survivorship Sponsor for the event.  As well as a monetary donation toward the event, this sponsorship also includes sponsoring the Relay For Life Survivors’ Dinner that is held to honor our local cancer survivors.  They have also accepted to become Gold Sponsors for the Relay For Life of Garrett County, MD and Mineral County, WV.

For information about joining the Event Leadership Team or about the Relay For Life event, visit RelayForLife.org/AlleganyMD or call 1-800-227-2345 or 301-722-2145.

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. during the past two decades, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14.5 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We’re determined to finish the fight against cancer. As the nation’s largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, we’re finding cures and ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, visit cancer.org or call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345.

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