The Importance of Relay for Life

This April, Shepherd students will come together once again to raise money for the fight against cancer in the Relay for Life walk.

For those that don’t know much about this fundraiser, Relay for Life is an extremely important event that has been held annually for the past decade. It is crucial for the university in order to raise funds against cancer, one of the biggest health threats an individual can face.

The American Cancer Society now estimates that the risk of an American man developing cancer over his lifetime is a little less than one out of two. For an American woman it is a little more than one out of every three.

For a lottery, these odds are fantastic! But cancer is a lottery that no one wants to win. So when that horrifying diagnosis comes, it’s absolutely life shattering.

In 2007, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember as my mom was breaking the news to me, my dad stood there as if he had been stabbed in the chest. Even though she was the only one with cancer, they had both been diagnosed.

For the next year, it was a slew of appointments and radiation treatments. Thankfully for my mother, she was completely cured and has been cancer free ever since. Yet looking back, I’ll never forget what it was like to help my mother with her care.

The biggest shock was the SpongeBob SquarePants stickers placed on the ceiling of the radiation room. The stickers were strategically put there to be a comforting device, but it was amazing that the inhabitant of a pineapple under the sea had such a chilling, opposite effect on me. It was just too real to be true.

Relay for Life is an important fundraiser that embodies the commitment of the possibility to one day live in a cancer free world. Every dollar earned goes towards saving lives whether it is for patients or medical research.

In the past10 years, Shepherd University has been doing its part to aid in this promise by raising over $500,000, according to last year’s totals.

The 11th annual celebration will be held on Friday, April 5 in the Wellness Center. According to the Relay for Life Web site, there are currently 47 teams involved. So far, $23,215 has been raised this year.

With daunting statistics such as the ones given by the cancer society for this past year, it is more important now than ever to start becoming involved in cancer fundraising. Relay for Life is a great organization and an opportunity to bring the campus together for a night of walking and amazing activities.

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