Melissa Dowers, a junior, lost her mother to breast cancer at 11 years old. Nine years later, Dowers preserves her mother’s memory by walking at Relay For Life.
“Unfortunately, my story is not unique,” Dowers said. “I like to participate in hopes of finding new treatment options and an eventual cure for cancer.”
Relay For Life is a fundraising event to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society to put toward cancer research.
“The idea is that someone is always walking in memory, support or honor of someone who has had cancer,” said Esther Pew, activities co-chair.
Quinnipiac’s fourth annual Relay For Life will start with opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. this Friday and walk its way into Saturday morning.
As of Monday, 1,028 participants have registered compared to a final number of 800 last year. This year’s event will have 122 teams, up from 115 last year.
The opening ceremonies will begin with speakers, followed by a survivor lap. In the past, former Gov. Jodi Rell (a breast cancer survivor) spoke at the event.
The closing ceremony, called the “fight back ceremony,” is about imagining a cancer-free world.
“Even though we are leaving, cancer is not going to stop,” said Nicole Carnemolla, team development co-chair. “It’s to show what we can still do to fight back.”
Other activities include a Pie-in-the-Face fundraiser where students will be able to pie Greek life and Student Government Association members along with Student Center employees. Tickets will be on sale today and tomorrow.
The theme of this year’s Relay for Life is carnival, so the Student Programming Board will host games and a photo boothThere will also be a basketball and dodgeball tournament, limbo, musical chairs, a Mr. Relay contest, and a free dinner and breakfast.
A luminaria ceremony, in which paper bags are lit up in memory and support of those who had cancer, will also be held.
The Relay For Life committee has a goal of raising $125,000. Last year the event raised $90,000. Currently they have raised approximately $100,100. If all participants raise $33, they will reach their goal, according to Carnemolla.
The Relay For Life committee urges everyone to register and donate by going to relayforlife.org/qu. There is a $20 registration fee.
“Cancer is something that affects everyone,” Pew said. “It doesn’t discriminate.”
Photo credit: Amanda Shulman