Relay for Life leads to cancer cures

Relay for Life is an overnight fundraising event aimed at gaining money to donate to the American Cancer Society in hopes of finding a cure for cancer. Oswego State is hosting its third annual Relay For Life event on Saturday, April 24, and it’s imperative that our student body gets involved.

Within today’s college generation, it’s difficult to find someone on campus who has not been affected by cancer in one way or another. Whether they have been inflicted with the awful disease themselves or they have a relative or friend who has had to endure the hardships associated with cancer, nearly everyone has had it affect their life. It is such a widespread disease that everyone should be invested in trying to find a cure, even if it’s only by donating a small amount of money.

The purpose of Relay for Life is to raise funds for the American Cancer Society while having fun and remembering that there is still hope in spite of the statistics associated with cancer. Events typically follow a theme and then teams are formed based on that theme. This years’ theme is Hollywood, and my team is Dancing For A Cure, in honor of the late Patrick Swayze. Teams work together to fundraise as much money as possible prior to and during the event by asking for personal donations, hosting team fundraisers and conjuring up fun ideas for the night of Relay. For example, our fundraiser for the night of Relay will be a dance competition along with hosting Dance Dance Revolution contests throughout the night.

What baffles me is why people wouldn’t want to donate to the cause. My involvement with Colleges Against Cancer has increased this year, and I have learned firsthand how coldhearted people can be. People are often skeptical of where their money is going or they are not willing to donate products because they are afraid that we won’t be using them for a good cause. While these fears are understandable, it must also be understood that it takes a truly heartless person to use cancer as a disguise for personal gain.

Other people often refuse to donate and use the excuse that they don’t have the money to spare. To those people, I have just one question: how much did you spend at the bars last weekend? Most people spend a minimum of $10 during their weekend festivities. Donations to Relay can be as small as $10. Can’t you spend one night of your weekend in and help a good cause instead?

In the end, every person is allowed to decide how their money is spent. I’m also fully aware that some people only donate because it is tax-deductible, so they are still personally benefitting from the donation. But as long as the money is being put toward a good cause, then I don’t care.

Relay for Life is a huge fundraising effort that not only helps lead to a cancer cure; it unites the community and supports those who have fought and those who are fighting their battles with cancer. It also honors those who have lost their battle. Nobody can understand what it’s like to have their own body turn against them until it’s happened to them. So respect these people and help them fight their battle. Come to Relay this Saturday. We’ll be in the Campus Center Arena from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., fighting to raise awareness and find a cure. Cancer never sleeps, so why should we?

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