By Olivia Joyce
On Friday night, the campus was quiet. Parties stopped, techno paused, and for a few hours, over 300 students rallied up in the field house; the yearly Relay for Life triumphed once again.
Relay for Life, an overnight fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, was wildly successful once again.
From the far corners of Webster to Sigma Delta Tau, Union united as one in an effort that amounted to over $25,000.
A personal connection to the cause is greatly inspiring for students and this year Union found its hero: Kaitlyn Suarez ‘15. As a feisty freshman, Suarez motivated students to join the fundraiser, stay the entire night and raise the money to battle cancer. Her story, as shared the night of Relay, includes battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma three times and undergoing chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant. Kaitlyn’s triumph reminded students why we relay.
The foundation of Relay for Life is built upon three aspects: Celebrate, Remember and Fight Back. This year Maggie Weinreb ‘13 initiated a new ritual during the remembrance ceremony. All attendees held glow sticks and ‘lit’ them when a condition pertained to them. She began with “I have had cancer,” and a few sticks were lit. With just a handful of more removed relationships with cancer, the entire field house was lit up. With few dry eyes, we marched around the track and remember those lost in the battle.
Stacey Berger ‘13, copresident of the Colleges Against Cancer club at Union, expressed her excitement at the event. “I love doing this event every year. I put my all into it, and to see the final product at the end of the day is truly amazing. No other event on campus brings together this amount of people.”
Relay is a unique night. It combines the Schenectady community and the Union students and faculty seamlessly. We all connect in fundamental ways and by joining forces we are able to support one another and commit to furthering the cause.