NSU relays to fight cancer

On April 14-15 from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. NSU will host Relay for Life, a community-based team fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, on the Alvin Sherman Library quad.

Teams will be set up around the quad for the entirety of the event. One member of the team will walk the track the entire night, and they can switch off with other team members throughout the night.

Participants will be able to donate to these teams throughout the night.

Parker Sheppard, a junior exercise and sports science major, said that the event lasts all night to represent the idea that cancer never sleeps.

Sheppard said, “There will be fundraisers and different activities going on throughout the night to celebrate those who have lived through cancer and to celebrate those who survived it.”

Relay for Life’s goal this year is to raise $30,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Sheppard said, “A huge misconception is that Relay for Life is a one-night thing. The event itself is one night, but it is a yearlong fundraiser, and our goal for this year is to raise $30,000 by August. Currently we are at $13,000 so we are almost halfway there.”

To kick off the night, cancer survivors will walk the first lap around the track and afterwards they and their caregivers will be invited to a dinner to honor them.

Sheppard said, “The survivor dinner happens right after the opening ceremony. It allows for us to honor the survivors. It happens right after the survivor lap, where they get to walk the track and open up the night.”

One of the highlights of the event is the Luminaria ceremony, which occurs halfway through the night. During this section of the night, there is complete silence for one hour.

Sheppard said, “The luminaria ceremony is my favorite part of the night. At the beginning of the ceremony all the lights get shut off. There is nothing, in terms of light, except for bags which have a glow stick that has been lit up inside of it. Each of these bags, which we call a luminaria, is dedicated to someone who is battling cancer or has had cancer.”

Sarah Moss, junior molecular biology major and a Relay for Life team ambassador, said she is excited to see the track lit up with the luminaria.

Moss said, “This is my first year doing it, and I’m excited to see the relay and see the luminaria lit up along the track. I’m also excited to see all the teams with their booths. It’s going to look really cool.”

NSU’s Relay for Life allows on-campus and off-campus organizations to sign up as teams.

Anyone who would like to make a team can do so on the Relay for Life website. The deadline to sign up a team is April 6. There is a $10 registration fee and teams must raise $100 to have a spot along the track by April 14.

Sheppard said, “This year has been the best year for Relay for Life because we’ve had students participate with organizations from all of the different colleges.”

Moss said one of her inspirations to get involved with NSU’s Relay for Life was her mom.

Moss said, “My mom is a cancer survivor so I relay for her, and there is cancer within my family, which means that I most likely have it too. This is why I’m trying to be proactive about it and help raise awareness for it.”

Cancer survivors can sign up for the opening ceremony and dinner at relayforlife.org/novafl.

Sheppard said, “If there are any cancer survivors or people on campus, whether its faculty, staff, students, or anything of that nature, we highly recommend that you let us know. It’s a completely anonymous system, all you have to do is go online and sign up.”

To sign up your organization for NSU’s Relay for Life, go to relayforlife.org/novafl. For more information contact Sheppard at ps980@nova.edu.

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