NU Gets Ready To Run For Relay For Life
“Some see a hopeless end, while others see an endless hope.”
Relay For Life is the poster child for this quote. Relay For Life is an event associated with the American Cancer Society. The event works to help fight cancer and supplies victims with two gifts: hope and, most importantly, love. Anyone has a chance to celebrate, remember and fight back.
Niagara University has its own celebration. Relay For Life will take place at the Kiernan Center on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. to Nov. 20 at 6 a.m. Currently there are 81 participants and 18 teams who will join the Rev. Bruce Krause, C.M., a cancer survivor, in raising cancer awareness.
“May this year’s event be the most successful ever!” Krause says.
Jessica Lacativa is a co-chair of NU’s Relay For Life. She’s in charge of sponsorship and food for the event. Why is she so involved with Relay For Life? “I Relay for my grandmother, who has been a breast cancer survivor for the past 13 years. I relay because everyone has a connection to cancer somehow, and I hope that one day we are able to find a cure so people aren’t left parentless, friendless, or without friends and family,” says Lacativa.
The other co-chairs are Matt Cantwell, who organizes the set up and Katie Hamilton, who keeps track of registration and everything online.
The 12-hour relay will begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 19. The rules are that a participant from each team must walk on the track at all times. There are different laps – including a freshman lap, a sophomore lap, a junior lap, and a senior lap. There is also a Survivor Lap, which begins the relay.
“I can at times feel terrifyingly alone because of my two bouts with cancer in just three years. Being with others at the Relay For Life offers me – and I am sure many other cancer survivors – the reassurance that we are not alone,” says Krause.
After dark, there is the Luminaria Ceremony. There are candles lit in paper bags filled with sand. Each bag bears the name of someone who has faced cancer.
The night-long event comes to an end with the Fight Back Ceremony. This includes each participant making a pledge to fight cancer.
Something new this year is an incentive. Depending upon the amount of money one raises, they receive a prize (for example, Relay For Life PJ’s).
Krause says, “Relay For Life provides the public with an awareness of just how widespread cancer is, and the toll it takes on individuals and their families and friends. Of course, through the funds that are generated for cancer research, it offers hope that more persons will enjoy more birthdays.
“Each of our lives is precious beyond what words alone can describe. Relay For Life offers hope that a cure for cancer will one day be found. I earnestly pray that the Relay will encourage students at NU to consider the medical field, including the research needed in finding a cure for cancer. My nephew is currently in his second year of med school in Savannah, and hopes to specialize in radiology. There are students here at NU with the aptitude and the conviction to make a difference in people’s lives. While admittedly hard work, I believe this is a wonderful profession.”
Why do people Relay? Look for the event’s posters around campus. They’ll tell you why – there is a new one posted each week. For more information, go to www.relayforlife.org/niagarauniversity.
Relay For Life is not the only event that supports the fight. Students at NU plan on starting up Colleges Against Cancer this spring semester. It will need interest from NU students in order to get off the ground.
As of right now, the event’s major sponsor is NUSGA. Those involved appreciate NUSGA’s support very much, they say, but they still need various other sponsors to add to their thriving operation. Donations can be collected until August 2011.