PITTSBURGH – Rick Jeanneret knows how scary it can be to receive a cancer diagnosis. He also knows the disease can be beaten.
He’s going to remind people by joining the American Cancer Society for the “Relay for Life of Buffalo.”
The Sabres announcer will open the fundraiser May 20 at Canalside by leading the first lap, also known as the Survivors Lap. Cancer survivors are cheered on by the other participants in a celebration of victories over cancer.
Jeanneret was diagnosed with Stage Three throat cancer in June 2014. He returned to Buffalo’s broadcast booth five months later.
“Cancer is to be respected, but not feared,” Jeanneret said. “You’ve got to know going into it that it’s not fun, it’s not easy and not everybody makes it. But I had a good feeling and the doctors gave me a good chance.”
The American Cancer Society estimates there were 14.5 million cancer survivors in the United States in 2014. The organization hosts Relays for Life around the world, with more than 4 million participants in 6,000 events last year. Relay for Life fundraisers in Western New York brought in more than $1 million.
The event at Canalside will begin at 5 p.m. For more information on participating or donating, visit RelayForLife.org or call (800) 227-2345.
“At one point, cancer was an automatic death sentence,” Jeanneret said. “It’s not now. We can’t give up.”