The keynote speaker for the American Cancer Society’s Luminaria Ceremony for the York County Relay for Life has died.

Patricia Ellis, 56, of Saco died Wednesday at Gosnell Memorial Hospice in Scarborough.

Ellis, a registered nurse, was diagnosed two years ago with stage IV colon cancer.

Karen Pierce-Stewart, Cancer Care Center of York County executive director, said Ellis had been part of clinical trials in Boston and was named keynote speaker as a survivor and health care provider.

“She was an advocate and extremely proud of her fight and what Relay and American Cancer Society does,” Pierce-Stewart said.

In an interview with Pierce-Stewart earlier this month, Ellis said, “If there is anyway I could share how important it is for everyone to gather that strength and support, I will. Relay for Life was a way to connect with so many people who have cancer and to honor and support their caregivers.”

After addressing the participants of Relay for Life, Pierce-Stewart said Ellis had planned to walk for at least an hour during the luminaria when the track is lit only by candles in memorial lanterns.

The York County Relay for Life will be held from Saturday, June 11, to Sunday, June 12 at Wells High School.