Can a relay save a life?
The American Cancer Society is hosting the Relay for Life at Colorado State University Saturday, April 13 at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public and is intended to raise money and awareness for people with connections to cancer.
Thus far, the event has 88 teams, 697 participants and has raised an estimated $44,400 for the cause.
According to the American Cancer Society, the importance of this event is not only to remember those that were lost to cancer, but to raise awareness about cancer. The hope is that by raising awareness, people will be more cautious with their health and more inclined to be active in the battle against cancer.
Emily Cumler, freshman health and exercise science major, says cancer affects everyone in some way, and it’s important to recognize that.
“Whether you know someone with cancer, or you know someone who knows someone, we are all connected to it,” said Cumler. “These types of events are amazing because they bring people together.”
Cumler explained that initially she didn’t realize the level that this was going to reach. What had started out as a small good cause escalated into much more.
“Originally my goal was $100,” Cumler said. “Then I sent an email to a family friend and they met my $100 right away. I was surprised.”
Cumler said that after reaching her goal as quickly as she had, she was encouraged to keep going.
“After my first donation they told me that I could do better than that and that inspired me,” Cumler said. “I had no idea I could raise over $1500.”
According to Cumler, the impact that one family had on her was enough to push her to strive for more donations. She realized that raising money was much more than that and that by just reaching out to people she was giving them an opportunity to be involved in something greater than themselves.
“Once you hit someone who has such an emotional story, it’s hard to say no,” Cumler said. “I think that person had such a devastating story that I felt that through the email and wanted to continue to reach out.”
Cumler explained that this event is giving people an opportunity to come together and let their competitive sides come out. She said that when people see other people donating and being involved they realized that they can do the same thing.
Relay for Life started as a personal desire to raise money for the American Cancer Society office in Tacoma, Washington, by a local surgeon, Dr. Gordy Klatt.
According to the American Cancer Society, Dr. Klatt decided to raise the money through his passion of marathons. He ran and walked around the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound for 24 hours and people would pay to run or walk with him.
He raised $27,000 and realized that if this became a more organized event, they could raise even more. One year later, Dr. Klatt and a small team created a 24-hour run for cancer and ended up raising $33,000.
The event at CSU will be a 14 hour event as opposed to 24 hours, however according to Cumler, this is seemingly the biggest event yet.
It will begin at 6 p.m. Saturday and go until 8 a.m. Sunday. Participants are encouraged to come and be as involved as they can be. Teams and individual participants are not expected to stay throughout the entire 14 hours.
For more information on Relay for Life-Colorado State University visit relayforlife.org and enter in Colorado State University in the search bar.
Diversity Beat Reporter Alex Steinmetz can be reached at email@example.com.