Hey everyone, Whitney here! I hope you have all been enjoying this wonderful spring weather.
Today I get to talk to you about something that is very close to me heart; Relay for Life. Relay is the American Cancer Society’s big event and it began in Washington State in 1985. Each year since then it has continued to grow and improve. Today there are hundreds, if not thousands, of Relays every year all across the United States and even internationally.
Relay for Life is both a time to remember loved ones lost to cancer and to celebrate those who have survived. While in this past year, a crippling number of Americans, over 500,000, died at the hands of this horrible disease. The funds raised at Relay help save these lives by funding cutting-edge cancer research, early detection and prevention education, advocacy efforts, and life-affirming patient services. The American Cancer Society has made enormous strides in the fight against cancer since the first Relay For Life in 1985, smoking has been banned
from many public places, early detection of many cancers has been improved and the human genome has been sequenced. The cancer survival rate is now 68% up from only 50% in the 1970s.
UConn’s Relay for Life was held April 13th-14th. As a member of Colleges Against Cancer, one of our 500 clubs and organizations on campus, I helped to plan for the event all year. It was a great success this year, with 494 registered participants and 59 teams and almost $50,000 raised. We all had a ton of fun walking to show our support for those who have been affected by cancer.
As always, the luminaria ceremony, a ceremony in remembrance of those who have lost their battles with cancer was emotional and moving. Seeing the track lit up and everyone coming together to support those who are grieving the loss of loved ones gives me faith and hope. So to all of you who have been affected by cancer, know you are not alone. And to everyone reading… Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.