“Imagine a world with more birthdays.” A phrase printed on this year’s T-shirts for Rider University’s second annual Relay for Life has given those who participated a lot to think about when it comes to supporting cancer efforts. Relay for Life started in 1986 to enhance the income of the American Cancer Society. In order to raise money, teams are formed, and they create many fundraisers for donations to help the battle to eliminate cancer. The overnight event was held in the SRC, Saturday, March 27, from 4 p.m. to Sunday, March 28, at 8 a.m., where Rider continued its newest tradition.
An astounding number of students came to support the cause, whether it was because they knew someone who had passed away because of cancer or had survived cancer, or just wanted to show their support. The number of participants was directly reflected in all the help and donations that were received. Over $50,000 was raised, the most that Rider has ever collected for this event.
Although many students came to Relay for Life to make a difference, there were a handful of groups that left early on, long before the event was over. There was even one group that didn’t show up at all. I think if you sign up for something that only happens once a year and is this important, you should take the responsibility of actually attending. In my opinion, Relay for Life was worth losing one night’s sleep for. It was a small sacrifice that made a huge contribution and helped many people. For me, staying for the whole event was absolutely worth it, and as a community, we had a blast making a difference.
A group of our peers who once battled cancer were congratulated and rightfully praised with a survivor lap around the track to kick-start the relay. To me, caught up in this moment, it all made sense. This is the reason we stay up until crazy hours in the morning walking around the track, why we sleep on the hard gym floor for one night and why we rack up the donations; this is why we relay. To be in front of a crowd of cancer survivors was an empowering and humbling thing. This group, though once sick, grew strong and never gave up the fight, and so we relay for them. We relay to help those who are still fighting the battle, to have the strength to keep pushing through. We relay to remember those who have died from cancer, and we relay for the future in hopes of one day eliminating it all. That’s why I relay, and I believe that’s why everyone should relay. Relay for Life brings hope and sheds light on all the things we can do to help create more birthdays, and who wouldn’t want more birthdays? Celebrate today. Remember yesterday. Fight cancer for a better tomorrow.
– Kristy Grinere
Freshman journalism major