Students Commemorate Cancer Victims at Relay for Life

NYU’s 13th annual Relay For Life, organized by Colleges Against Cancer at NYU, helped raise over $78,000 this past week for cancer research and treatment.

Christine Wang

NYU’s 13th annual Relay For Life, organized by Colleges Against Cancer at NYU, helped raise over $78,000 this past week for cancer research and treatment.

By Christine Wang, Deputy News Editor

With the help of over 1,000 participants, NYU’s 13th annual Relay For Life event has raised over $78,900 towards cancer research and treatment.

NYU’s Relay For Life, organized by Colleges Against Cancer at NYU, is an overnight experience during which participants walk around a track from sunset to sunrise to symbolize that although cancer may never rest, neither will those fighting against it.

Despite being surrounded by fun art activities and games, participants did not forget the severity and importance of their purpose. Stern senior Jenn Loh said she feels the event has given her a new perspective on life.

“Personally it’s important to me because my mother had cancer a few years ago and, even though she is better now, this stress continues to follow her every year, especially when she gets a checkup,” Loh said. “Relay helped me gain perspective and reminded me that some of the struggles that have really bothered me aren’t that significant in the grand scheme of things. This, I feel, has enabled me a greater capacity to care about my friends
and family.”

Tisch junior Elizabeth Young said she encourages those who don’t believe in the mission to still raise awareness and show support for those who
are fighting.

“The American Cancer society does great work and they are making a difference for everyone who’s a survivor by helping them get treatment,” Elizabeth said. “Even if you don’t think there’s a cure about to happen, you’re still helping these people who are suffering every day. Even if you don’t believe in the mission, you should still come and support.”

Gallatin freshman Margaret Arabpour said the money raised will make a crucial impact.

“In addition to funding research towards finding a cure for cancer, American Cancer Society provides so many other services to those who are fighting, such as housing, known as Hope Lodges, for those who must receive treatment far from home,” Margaret said. “The sheer amount of impact that this money will have is just mind blowing and makes me even more proud to be apart of the Relay for Life Committee.”

For CAS sophomore AJ Stone Jonathan the event was their fifth Relay For Life. At the first, they walked with their mother and father, but at their second they walked with only their sister, as their mother had passed away from uterine cancer.  The following year, they walked with their father. But at their fourth relay for life, Jonathan walked alone — from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., without stopping for food or activities — as their father too had passed away
from cancer.

To Jonathan, although the cancer took away those that they loved, it also pushed them to cherish every small moment they had. For them, Relay for Life is a time to continue cherishing those memories and honoring every person who has fought or is currently fighting.

“When we take the time to remember, we are taking the time to honor all of these people,” Jonathan said. “These memories are the reason why we come to Relay For Life. It means we’re dedicated to making more memories, to making these memories possible, and to making life possible. We remember the people that we lost. We relay to make new memories and we relay to hold on to the people that we care about.”

A version of this story appeared in the Monday, May 2 print issue. Email Christine Wang at [email protected]