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Home News and Update Year 2010 Cancer awareness comes to campus - Advance Titan

Cancer awareness comes to campus - Advance Titan

Colleges Against Cancer is sponsoring Relay For Life April 24 and 25 at UW-Oshkosh in order to increase awareness of cancer to the campus and surrounding communities.

The Relay For Life website says it is an event that attracts more than 3.5 million people from 5,000 communities in the United States and more in 20 other countries around the world.

“It’s a successful program and group that raises money for research and increases awareness and education about cancer,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Petra Roter said.

The event is put on every year to promote celebration of those who have survived the cancer battle, to remember loved ones and to fight back against cancer.

To promote the celebration of those who have battled cancer and survived, all events start with a survivor’s lap. Caregivers, those who have given their time, love and support to those with cancer, are also invited to participate in the survivor’s lap.

“This is an inspirational time when survivors are invited to circle the track together and help everyone celebrate the victories we’ve achieved over cancer,” the Relay For Life website states. “People understand the frustrations and joys of being a caregiver, since the effects of cancer reach far beyond just the person diagnosed.”

Those who have fought against cancer are remembered through a lighted ceremony after dusk. White bags are colored and drawn on in remembrance of those who lost their lives or are still fighting. Those bags are filled with sand, and a candle is lit inside them after they are lined along the Relay For Life track.

“It is so critical to honor and remember those in their fight against cancer,” Laurie Bertrand, who is a part of community relations for the American Cancer Society, said. “It makes you remember why we are doing what we are by relaying.”

Relay For Life also has a ceremony for those who are willing to fight against cancer by getting annual screenings, quitting smoking or talking to officials about cancer.

“By taking action, people are personally taking steps to save lives and fight back against a disease that takes too much,” the Relay For Life website states.

During Relay For Life people are able to shed tears for the ones they have lost or for the ones who beat the disease.

“I had a colleague that came to work in the advising office three years ago who was diagnosed with cancer,” Houa Xiong, liaison for Colleges Against Cancer, said.. “Seeing her go through this awful experience and how she went about this made the problems that I had seem like nothing.”

Bertrand, who lost a grandfather to cancer, works for the American Cancer Society and meets a lot of people who have been affected by cancer.

“It demonstrates [to me] the need for finding a cure and putting an end to cancer,” Bertrand said.

Relay For Life is a way to show support to family, friends and strangers. Supporters are able to find healing through meeting new people in the community who have an equal passion for donating to the American Cancer Society to find a cure.

Relay For Life has set high goals for Oshkosh’s event this year. Raising $45,000 and attracting more than 500 participants are two of the goals the American Cancer Society is aiming for.

Bertrand said students, staff and anyone in the community are able to join in the activities and participate in the fun even if they are not signed up. The event is open to the public.

“If you have not gone to a Relay For Life, you need to attend one and experience it,” Xiong said. “It will change your perspective on why it is so important for all of ‘us’ to do our part to help find a cure for it.”

UW-Oshkosh’s Relay For Life will last 12 hours straight from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., because the American Cancer Society’s website states “since cancer never sleeps, those who are participating in the Relay For Life should not sleep as well.”


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