Last semester, a group of students banded together to revive Sacred Heart’s Relay for Life club. Relay for Life is a walk event with the goal to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
“The purpose of this club is to bring together the Sacred Heart community for a common cause of fighting cancer,” said senior Co-President Kristine Hawkins.
Relay for Life was a club at Sacred Heart until 2019 when interest in the club decreased. Hawkins and her Co-President Molly Kearns trail-blazed the relaunch of the club.
Hawkins and Kearns put together an executive board of Sacred Heart students that are all aspiring healthcare professionals.
“We all have the passion for helping people and the Relay for Life event and American Cancer Association does amazing work helping further research,” said Sacred Heart alumnus Elizabeth Hamilton.
Hamilton participated in the club last semester before she graduated. She is now leading a team of alumni to participate in the event.
The club works with the American Cancer Society to raise money for conducting research, supporting patients and educating individuals about prevention.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime.
Many members of the Relay for Life club have been affected in some way by cancer and want to help combat this issue.
“I relay for my aunt who lost her tough battle against cancer in May of 2021,” said senior club member Jillian Schuellain. “I decided to start a team named “RB” in her honor.”
The club has given students a place to gather, feel supported, talk about their personal experiences and how cancer has affected their lives.
“We want these students to know they are not going to go through this alone and that we are there to support them and their family,” said Hawkins.
All the students in the club have one thing in common.
“We are all very passionate towards the fight against cancer,” said Schuellain. “Having a group of people who can relate to and support one another with similar experiences is extremely special and I am so grateful for that.”
The Relay for Life event is carnival themed and will be held on the Sacred Heart University football field.
“Things we anticipate to be featured are raffle baskets, various carnival games, a cornhole and spike ball tournament and even a dunk tank,” said social media chair Tara Hangerman.
Everyone is welcome to attend the event, even those who do not attend Sacred Heart. The event will take place on Friday, April 29.
“At the event, aside from raising money for the ACS, one of our biggest priorities is to honor cancer survivors and health care workers,” said Hawkins.
The first lap of the relay is the survivors lap, honoring and celebrating those who have beat their battle with cancer. While the second lap is for healthcare workers and caregivers, honoring those who care for their patients, family or friends.
“Having an event where people can come together to acknowledge a problem of that magnitude while honoring the patient and caregivers is beautiful,” said Hamilton.
The Relay for Life club meets biweekly on Tuesdays at 9:00pm in room NC107. To sign up for the event and find out more information about both the club and relay, follow @shu-relay4life on Instagram.