02/04/2013 09:48 am ET

World Cancer Day 2013: How You Can Help

World Cancer Day means hope, courage and inspiration for cancer patients, caregivers, survivors and supporters.

The annual advocacy day is observed Feb. 4 with events, campaigns and messages that raise awareness about the disease and funds to find a cure.

The day is also an opportunity to share stories of resilience and hope.

Two-time cancer survivor Sean Swarner is one such story. He ran the Boston Marathon after being told by a doctor earlier that he had only two weeks to live, American Way magazine reports.

"I think I had two choices. It was either to fight for my life or give up and die, and I just don't think I was ready to give up," he told WTNH.

And some of the youngest survivors have given back the most.

In April, Leland Camara, a 5-year-old battling leukemia, decided to use one of his wishes from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to feed children in need in his Anchorage, Alaska, community, he told

"When I asked him if he was sure he wants to serve other kids, he says, ‘So many people helped me so I want to help others,'" Laure Bruce of the Make-A-Wish Foundation told

To support survivors like Sean, Leland or someone you know who had been affected by cancer, learn more about the organizations below.

Stand Up To Cancer
Since launching in 2008, Stand Up To Cancer has raised more than $80 million for cancer research, and helped bring new treatments to patients of all types of cancer-- all while advocating policy-change and awareness. For World Cancer Day the organization is asking its supporter to download a “I Stand Up For” placard and share photos that show who they honor and remember when they Stand Up To Cancer.

To get involved, click here.

World Cancer Day
This organization brings together advocacy, prevention, and awareness through educating the public and lobbying congress.

To find out more, click here.

CURE Childhood Cancer
CURE has raised millions for work that focuses on improving the care, quality of life and survival rate of children with cancer through education and support for patients and families.

To get involved, click here.

American Cancer Society
With the support of millions, ACS works hard to save lives and celebrate more birthdays through cancer prevention, research and help for those suffering from cancer.

To get involved, click here.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Internationally recognized for its pioneering research and treatment of pediatric cancer patients, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is ranked one of the best pediatric cancer hospitals in the country. It is the first, and only, national cancer institute devoted solely to children.

To donate to St. Jude's, click here.

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer
Honoring the memory of Alexandra Scott, a 4-year-old cancer patient who set up a lemonade stand to raise money for cancer research, the Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer has now raised thousands for cancer research. The foundation is one of the only national charities that funds pediatric oncology nursing research and grants, designed to improve the quality of life and care of children battle cancer.

To get involved, click here.

Ronald McDonald House Charities
Besides just the disease, medical expenses can pile up and burden a family for years to follow. Ronald McDonald House Charities provids free or low-cost places to stay for families who are traveling to get the medical attention they need. The organization is centered on the focus that families are stronger when they are together, helping them face the fight against illness.

To get involved, click here.

Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Recognized as the world's largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer, LLS funds lifesaving cancer research and provides free information and support services worldwide.

To get involved click here.

National Breast Cancer Foundation
Dedicated to saving women’s lives through education, early detection and prevention initiatives, the NBCF creates a community of support for those affected by the disease.

To get involved click here.