By Julie Craven:
Almost everyone knows of someone who is battling cancer, or knows someone who has lost their battle. It takes such an emotional toll on families, and it takes a lot of bravery and hope to overcome. Are we close to finding the cure? Will there ever be a cure?
Relay for LIfe is the world’s biggest fundraising event to celebrate cancer survivors, to honor those who are currently battling, and those who may have lost their long battle. Every year, this fundraiser comes to Assumption College, bringing the community together to light the way to raise money against this horrible disease.
Earlier this month, the college’s Plourde Gymnasium was filled with students, families, friends, and survivors. The event was an “under the sea” theme, as decorations filled the gym…
Relay For Life began with some of the many survivors taking their first lap around the gym, as the crowd honored them for their strength.
It was an emotional moment for all of us there, to watch these brave individuals fight the fight.
However, aside from all the tears, a bunch of activities and performances were being held, featuring students to kick off the night to celebrate survivors, showing off their talent.
“Hound Sound”, Assumption’s coed a cappella group performed “Somebody to Love” by Queen, and “Fools” by Troye Sivan. Assumption’s Dance Team also performed a couple of songs, amazing the audience.
I got a chance to interview Elizabeth and Sharon, two women who have been affected by cancer. They have been attending Relay For Life at Assumption for years.
“How old were you when you were diagnosed?”
Elizabeth says, “I was diagnosed in 2002, so that would be 16 years ago.”
Sharon says, “I got it in 2014, I was 54 years old at the time.”
“What was your first reaction when you found out you had cancer?”
Elizabeth says, “I was in Florida when I got the call, I was definitely in shock, I honestly couldn’t believe it. They had to do a needle biopsy on me and the surgeon told me I had cancer…it was a very emotional time for my family and I.”
Sharon says, “I was told I had six months to live, I was shocked, almost surreal…felt as if I was in Neverland.”
“What kept you fighting?”
Elizabeth says, “Most of all I had a positive attitude, you just have to be positive. I feel I am a very strong person, I had to be brave for my family.”
Sharon says, “I’m not finished yet, there’s things I still need to do. Hope and purpose is what is getting me through this. You just got to believe you are going to fight this, that’s the first step.”
These inspiring women give a lot of hope to the community, spreading their strength.
I also interviewed Talia Rossi, a current sophomore here at Assumption, to what she thought of Relay…
What was your favorite part of Relay?
“I would say the Luminaria walk. I honestly loved everything about Relay but in particular I definitely loved the idea of walking around in silence to honor people’s lives.”
Are you planning to come back next year?
“Of course, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Towards the end of the event, we all gathered for the “Luminaria” walk which is a silent walk around the gym in darkness holding glow sticks, honoring every life that has been impacted by cancer.
Raising more than 20,000 dollars was a huge accomplishment this past weekend, and I am honored I got to be apart of such an amazing event.
Thank you to everyone who participated, and who have also donated, it was a very accomplished weekend. No one can fight cancer on their own, we need the community and beyond to help touch every life.