Helen Schell's hair is growing back, and she doesn't plan on trimming it anytime soon.

The 56-year-old Newberry Township woman lost her hair while being treated for ovarian cancer. Schell said she remembers the date of the diagnosis: Aug. 22, 2011.

She said now there is another date she holds dear in the battle against cancer: June 21 and 22, the days for the 19th annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life of York.

The event will be held at the York County School of Technology in York Township.

Relay for Life benefits the society's efforts to raise cancer awareness, to provide services for cancer survivors and their caregivers and to help find a cure for the disease.

"I want to be involved because I had

cancer, and I want to help get the cure for cancer," she said. "I did participate (this) year, but I want to do more (next) year."

About the event: Relay for Life is an overnight fundraising walking event in which participants form teams, with teammates taking turns walking on the track for 24 hours.

A Relay for Life of Southern York County also will be held June 21 and 22.

A volunteer meeting to prepare for that event will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the library at Shrewsbury Elementary School, 331 S. Main St. in Shrewsbury Borough.

"We're really looking for volunteers. We need help," said Katie Cooper, American Cancer Society's income development representative. "We want volunteers to help make a difference."


Volunteers are needed to organize and recruit teams, help with fundraising efforts, coordinate logistics, collect refreshments and prizes, and plan entertainment, Cooper said.

The goals: For the 2012 Relay event in York Township, about 70 teams helped raise $237,500, Cooper said.

The 2013 goal is to have at least that many teams raise $239,000, during the Relay for Life event at York School of Technology, she said.

"Teams are raising money throughout the year for relay," Cooper said. "They've become a support system for cancer survivors, caregivers, anyone affected by cancer. We're creating a relay community.

More teams are needed for the Southern York County relay, as five teams have signed up so far, she said. The goal is to have 18 teams raise at least $41,500. Last year, 18 teams exceeded the fundraising goal, raising $52,000, Cooper said.

Making friends: Sheila Denny, a breast cancer survivor and York Relay chairwoman, said she developed friendships since becoming involved with the annual event.

"I gained friends that I would have never known before," she said. "We're staying together to keep fighting cancer. The relay is a 24-hour walk because cancer never sleeps, so we don't either."

Schell, who has had 12 back surgeries, said she is joining a team for the 2013 event. The last relay event, she walked alone until her doctor arrived, surprising her, she said.

"He took me around the path," Schell recalled. "I was on cloud nine. I was crying. I had nobody to walk the path with me until he showed up. This time, I'm going to be on a team, and I'm so excited."

Volunteer meeting: A volunteer meeting for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Southern York County will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the library of Shrewsbury Elementary School, 331 S. Main St. in Shrewsbury Borough.

There are seven 2013 Relay for Life events planned for Dillsburg, Hanover, Northern and Southern York, York Township and the Windsor/Red Lion areas.

To participate and to keep up with local meeting schedules and fundraising events, visit the event's website at www.relayforlife.org/payork.

For information, call Katie Cooper at 846-2561 or email her at kathleen.cooper@cancer.org.

Registration is now open for teams of co-workers, families, friends.

--Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at emcmilla n@yorkdispatch.com.