Students stay up all night to support cancer survivors

Maggie Holman, Campus Carrier Staff Reporter

More than 400 students participated in the Relay for Life overnight event to support the American Cancer Society.

Twenty-four teams, as well as students from around campus, united from 6 p.m. April 11 to 6 a.m. April 12 at the Cage Center and raised $15,809. The top fundraising teams were the Relay Committee, which raised over $3,000, and the Sunshine Cottage team, which raised over $1,700.

Relay for Life is an event which is held to honor cancer survivors, raise awareness about what can be done to reduce the risk of cancer and raise money to help the American Cancer Society combat the disease.

 Sophomore Maria Santos, who was part of Relay for Life’s marketing team, said the money will go toward research to find a cure, as well as to several other causes.

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                                                                                         Photo contributed by Zach Cleland
Fundraising teams competed to raise money for cancer research at the Relay for Life event
on April 11.  The top fundraising teams were the Relay Committee, who raised over $3,000,
and Sunshine Cottage, who raised over $1,700.

 “American Cancer Society Hope Lodge facilities provide a free and comfortable place for patients and their caregivers to stay, so they can focus on getting well,” Santos said. “[Money raised] will also go to Road to Recovery, Look Good … Feel Better [which teaches beauty techniques to women with cancer] and Reach To Recovery [which supports people with breast cancer].”

The teams involved with Relay for Life were raising money individually, but they all shared the common goal of fighting cancer. Santos said there was a sense of unity among the teams.

“The most rewarding part for me was seeing how different organizations on campus came together for the event and essentially worked together to raise as much money possible for this great cause,” Santos said.

The Berry community was invited to join a team, begin their own team or attend and walk as an individual.

Santos said Relay for Life was designed to reflect Berry’s emphasis on educating the head, heart and hands.

“We used the head to come up with the fundraising ideas and the logistics of the event, [and] the hands for all the incredible volunteers and their work which was essential in executing this event,” Santos said. “Most importantly, we used the heart to guide us throughout this entire journey.”

Senior Amanda Hearn has led Relay for Life teams in the past and said that participation has had an impact on her own life.

“I got involved with Relay my freshman year because it was right after my mom was diagnosed with cancer,” Hearn said. “One of my favorite memories is when my mom came last year, and my family got to do the Survivors Walk with her and support her.”

Santos said students walk for those currently affected with cancer as well as those who have survived cancer and that they all want to live in a society where no more loved ones are taken or affected by the disease. 

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