Sleep over at NSU with Relay for Life

NSU’s chapter of Relay for Life is inviting the NSU community and the public to its fifth annual overnight event, from April 12 at 6 p.m. to April 13 at noon in the Alvin Sherman Library Quad.

All funds raised during Relay for Life will benefit the lives of cancer patients, survivors and their families in Broward County. The event will consist of traditional Relay ceremonies, such as a “survivor lap” and luminaria walk, and Relay for Life’s executive board is planning other activities to encourag participants to stay awake all night.

Dayami Gomez, junior psychology major and Relay for Life’s fundraising chair, said, “Relay is the nation’s largest fundraising event and the only event that goes on overnight to promote the fact that cancer never sleeps and neither should we.”

Each year, thousands of colleges, schools, military bases and communities host their own annual Relay for Life events. Though it’s sponsored by the American Cancer Society, versions of the event have spread to over 21 countries and have raised over $3 billion since the first Relay in 1986.

Lindsey Goldstein, a junior majoring in education and event chair for NSU’s Relay, has participated in the fundraiser since middle school.

She said, “This is an amazing opportunity for NSU and the community to come together to celebrate survivors and remember lost loved ones. The whole night is a symbolic journey of a cancer patient; as the sun goes down and everything gets dark, that’s the diagnosis. As the night goes on and everyone gets tired, they will remember they can’t, because cancer never sleeps. That’s the fight. And as the sun comes up, that’s hope that, one day, there will be a cure.”

Goldstein said that this is a special event that combines something serious with something fun.

Relay for Life’s fundraising goal is $30,000 and teams must donate a minimum of $100. Goldstein is expecting 40 teams and 300 participants.

“We are well on our way to our goal, but we need everyone’s help,” said Aaron Kyle Hackman, assistant director of student leadership and civic engagement. “Seeing the energy and drive of the committee of students that oversee, plan and raise money and awareness for the event, in order to give hope to people in Broward County fighting cancer, is inspiring to me.”

Goldstein first became involved in Relay for Life during middle school, when her teacher was diagnosed with cancer.

“We couldn’t imagine what it must be like to hear the words ‘You have cancer,’” said Goldstein. “So my class and I formed a Relay for Life team and raised money to fight against cancer, so that one day, no one will ever have to hear the words ‘You have cancer.’”

Goldstein said, “Everyone has a connection to cancer, whether it’s a relative [or] friend. No one is immune to cancer. Relay for Life is an amazing opportunity for NSU students and the community to come together to celebrate survivors, remember lost loved ones and fight back against cancer.”

Relay for Life’s Team Development Chair Danny McFadden, sophomore legal studies major, said, “I was inspired to take part in Relay for Life because many in my family had passed away from cancer. Recently, my grandmother just found out she has cancer. So I joined Relay for Life my freshman year to try and work toward finding a cure. Cancer is a disease that is seen as normal in our society, but everyone has to work together in order to stop it completely. Trying to get others inspired to help the fight for cancer is something I feel passionate about.”

Stephanie Cedeno, sophomore biology major, is Relay for Life’s luminaria chair. She has created 1,000 luminarias — small paper lanterns that are made of paper bags and commonly lit by candles.

She said, “I am looking forward to see everyone have a good time, all united to help one cause. This is a cause worth fighting for because cancer is relentless, and those who struggle against it fight every single moment, and we should, too.”

This year, 1,000 luminaria will be set up around the library quad and at 10 p.m., the participants will make one lap of solace in silence to honor their lost loved ones. Participants can email Cedeno at sc1551@nova.edu to request a luminaria in their love ones’ names, or request one during the event.

Relay for Life’s fundraising progress can be tracked at www.relayforlife.org/novafl.

To start a new team or join an existing one, visit relayforlife.org and search “Nova Southeastern University.” For more information, contact the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at 954-262-7195 or slce@nova.edu.

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