By Samantha Tyler
First, I must thank the committee members of Colleges Against Cancer, those who had the courage to talk about their personal experiences, those who donated and most importantly the people who came to Relay For Life to show their support.
Relay For Life helps raise awareness, money for research and hope. Everyone is affected by cancer in one way or another. One in four deaths in the U.S. are cancer-related, so statistically, out of the 2,133 students at Union, about 533 of us will be somehow affected. Whether it’s you, someone you love, a friend, a second grade teacher or a pet—every single person has a story to tell about how cancer has affected their life.
As you read this, please take a second to look at the people around you. Now think about the hidden stories each of them has, how many of them have scars from cancer, either physical or emotional.
Using glow sticks, it was made very clear that everyone in the field house had a story to tell. But when the lights were turned off and all of those glow sticks were lit in each person’s hand to represent their scars, I did not see them as a light of hope to guide me around the track.
Instead, I realized how few people were there. Looking around the room at the scarcity of light, I became frustrated, disappointed and disheartened.
If every Union student who has been affected by cancer in some way had been there that night, the entire track should have been illuminated and a feeling of triumph and hope should have kindled inside us all.
Now think of where you were Friday night every minute between 6 p.m. and 2 a.m. If any of those minutes were spent at Relay for Life, thank you. Thank you for celebrating, remembering and fighting back. If, in a span of eight hours, your time did not at all include a stop at the field house and you chose to spend the night of April 20 in some other way on campus, please understand that you chose not to support your family, your friends and possibly your future selves.
If something that affects everyone is not worthy of your support, what is?