Relay for Life

By Shay Sweet

Although it may be a tender subject to brush upon for many, cancer is a disease that has touched every single one of our lives. Whether from having affected family members, friends, or by hearing stories from peers.  The word “cancer” is normally correlated with a negative presence, but members of the American Cancer Association are taking large strides to change that stereotype. They created an event that promotes hope, strength and goodwill.

Relay for Life

The Relay for Life is a program that takes place in over 19 countries worldwide, 3.5 million of the people involved are in the U.S. alone. Lasell College has decided to join in the cause, raising over $4,000 dollars already this year.  The relay lasts up to 24 hours and consists of volunteers, both youth and adults, camping out and taking turns to walk or run a track or path in honor of those who have battled against this disease.  This event typically takes place overnight to promote the message that “cancer never sleeps” and requires there to be an individual from each team moving at all times.

There are ceremonies that differ depending on the location, but there are a few traditions that take place throughout every event.  The Survivor Lap initiates the relay, which is where those who have won the battle against this illness join together and start off the movement to commemorate all that they have overcome.  After dark, the Luminaria Ceremony takes place and each volunteer is given a candle lit paper bag, filled with sand that holds the name of someone who has been passed from cancer.  Typically a moment of silence follows this ritual.  The Fight Back Ceremony ties up the event, each individual is encouraged to make a commitment to personally take up the fight against cancer.

Since the creation of this event in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt, the American Cancer Association has raised over 3.5 billion dollars in donations that go toward service programs, such as local support for patients, therapy sessions for those dealing with the side effects of cancer and Living with Cancer conferences.  Lasell’s 2012 Relay for life will take place on March 30, at 7 p.m., until March 31, 7 a.m. You still have time to sign up with teams ranging from 7-15 people and a $10 registration fee that will be contributed to the  total donations.   For more information on registering or on donating log on to www.relayforlife.org/lasell or contact the Lasell Relay for Life Chair Holly Irvin.

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