Relay For Life: Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.
April 3, 2012
Filed under Features
Cancer is a dangerous disease. It is fatal, and unmerciful. It annually claims the lives of 10.9 million people a year. However, annually at NYIT a tradition is celebrated where students take the opportunity to fight back against the deadly disease.
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length. Although every Relay for Life is different, there are certain traditions at all relays, no matter where they are held. These traditions help participants celebrate, remember, and fight back.
The event was started four years ago, not by faculty but by students. Students continue the tradition today and this year’s event will take place on Friday April 20th at 7pm and will conclude at sunrise on April 21st. “The entire event is run by students from the Student Government Association, Campus Programming Board and Greek Letter Council with support from athletics, all clubs and organizations on campus, faculty and staff and chaired this year by architect student Paolo Pironi,” says Associate Dean of Campus Life Michael Burnett. “The event is an amazing event where the entire NYIT community can come together and to raise awareness and much needed funds for Cancer Research.”
Laurie Hollister, who is a Career Counselor at NYIT has a special connection to the event known as Relay for Life. She has been involved with the event since its origins at NYIT. She spoke at the opening ceremony of the very first Relay for Life and since then has been involved in organizing the Survivor Dinner which takes place just before the kickoff of the event. With so much dedication to the ceremony, Laurie Hollister herself is a cancer survivor. Celebrating her five year anniversary of being cancer free she stated, “The reason I Relay is to celebrate being a survivor – not everyone gets to say those words. Relay gives me the unique opportunity to celebrate life, remember loved ones lost, and support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission by fighting back against a disease that has already taken too much.” Her sister Lynn Hollister-Moore tragically passed away this year from the same disease that her sister defeated five years ago. Laurie looks to relay again this year along with the students of NYIT who will be joining her.
The organization states that “Everyone’s reason to Relay is as unique as their own personal story. At Relay, you can find healing, comfort, and support from others who have faced cancer or who have lost a loved one to the disease. You have a chance to meet people in the community who are equally as passionate about finding an end to cancer in our lifetime. No matter why you take part in Relay, however, one thing is clear: with every step you take, you are helping the American Cancer Society save lives. With your help, we aren’t just fighting one type of cancer, we’re fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community.
Each person who shares the Relay experience can take pride in knowing that they are working to create a world where this disease will no longer threaten the lives of our loved ones or claim another year of anyone’s life.”