Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

Ashley Pelletier

This Sunday, Sept. 22, students and staff will come together to raise money for the American Cancer Society in Quinnipiac’s annual Relay for Life. Over the course of the past two weeks, the Relay for Life e-board has put on fundraisers such as Chipotle, food trucks and selling Krispy Kreme doughnuts. So far, Quinnipiac has raised over $16,600 for Relay for Life. 

Relay for Life was born in May 1985, when Dr. Gordon Klatt ran around a track in Tacoma, Washington, for 24 hours to raise money for cancer. Relay for Life is now a global fundraiser with partakers all over the world. According to the American Cancer Society website, over 4 million people in 26 countries take part in Relay for Life each year. 

“It is a space for us all to learn more about the American Cancer Society and to support cancer research,” said Pratibha Thippa, volunteer coordinator for Relay for Life and member of the class of 2022. As volunteer coordinator, Thippa runs g-board meetings, which are held on Tuesdays at 9:15 p.m.,  so that students who are not a part of making Relay happen can still get involved. 

The most powerful of the Relay for Life are the survivor lap, the caregiver lap and the luminaria. The survivor lap is where those who are battling or have defeated cancer walk in unification. Following this lap, they are joined by their caregivers, people who they would not be there without. Finally, the luminaria is a silent lap where candles are lit in decorated paper bags dedicated to those who died, those who lived and those who are continuing the fight. These are made to honor the fight against cancer and the strength of everyone whose lives have been touched by cancer. 

“I think the best part of Relay is definitely the luminaria,” said Thippa. “It gives you time to think back. Even though we have fun events throughout the day, why are we here? Why do I relay? Thippa relays for her uncle and a cure for osteosarcoma. 

“I think the best part [of Relay] for me is the survivor lap,” said Morgan Literate, a member of the class of 2021 and finance chair for the e-board. “I think it shows us that even though it took hard work to get there, they are going through a battle that is way harder.” Literate relays for her mother and for a cure for all cancer. She credits her mother for being the reason she is on e-board as well as the reason why she is pursuing a nursing degree. 

The e-board has several other events planned for the day to go along with the universal Relay for Life events. Events will take place periodically throughout the 8 hour event including food trucks, performances, raffles, guest speakers and even visits from chiropractors.

The money raised by participants in Relay for Life is having a real impact on those suffering from cancer and their families. In 2017, the American Cancer Society contributed to over 600,000 free or low-cost screenings for cancer. They also saved families upwards of $45 million due to free lodging programs for patients. 

You can still get involved by going to the e-boards table from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside of Starbucks in the student center this week. From there, you can either make a donation or register for the event. Registration costs $15 prior to the event and $20 day of. You can also donate to the event or dedicate a luminaria on the American Cancer Society website by searching for the Quinnipiac Relay.