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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Relay for Life UA raises more than $45,000 for cancer research

Gabriela Diaz
Gabriela Diaz / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA Mall hosts the Relay for Life event, an event that celebrates cancer survivers and their care-takers. The event started a little bit past 6 p.m. and ended at 6 a.m.

Teams consisting of UA students and community members ran all night to support the efforts to find a cure for cancer.

Many people who have participated before, as well as first-time attendees, came out to support Relay for Life at the UA Mall from Friday night to Saturday morning. Live music and activities helped volunteers stay awake overnight as they raised money to support cancer research and celebrate the lives of cancer survivors.

The event raised more than $45,000, said Melissa Schwartz, event co-chair of Relay for Life UA and a political science junior. There were 98 teams registered, which is 853 participants, Schwartz added.

The event began with the executive committee awarding pins to survivors of cancer and their caregivers, family members, friends or loved ones who give support at any time during the fight against cancer.

The first lap of the event was the survivor lap, in which survivors of cancer ran and walked around the Mall.

Rachel Carnicle, captain of her relay team, Sigma Alpha Lambda, and a family studies in human development junior, said the experience of being at Relay for Life is fantastic.

“It’s really good to see the survivors to go around [on their own lap],” Carnicle said. “It’s inspiring to see how many people come out to support. It’s a really good cause and a lot of work that goes into it, but it’s definitely worth it.”

Tau Beta Sigma, a band honorary sorority, and Sigma Alpha Iota, a women and music sorority, volunteered their time to play music for the first two laps of the relay.

“We really like what it [Relay for Life] stands for,” said Marica, Whittemore, an junior studying English and secretary of Tau Beta Sigma. “We just wanted to support the community.”

Steeve Saah, a mechanical engineering junior and a member of relay team the French Guys, is a foreign exchange student from France and said he hasn’t experienced anyhing like this in Paris.

“Americans are more aware of this kind of illness and in Paris people are not like American people,” Saah said. “I think it’s a good thing that all students know the problems from cancer. I would to like to participate in this kind of event, but in France.”

Marco Gallegos, president of HOSA and a member of the HOSA relay team, said he participates in Relay For Life because he has had personal experience with cancer. HOSA is a national student organization that provides leadership workshops for students enrolled in Health Science Education programs.

“I have family members that have cancer and I also have friends that have had cancer, so it hits home,” said Gallegos, a biochemistry junior. “This is probably my fifth time participating, not here, but back home, which is Nogales.”

Schwartz said she is proud of the work the committee put into planning the event.

“We grew tremendously in the last three years,” Schwartz said. “I’m really grateful for this incredible opportunity. I hope we grow in years to come.”

Update: An earlier version of this article said Relay for Life UA had raised almost $45,000. That amount is subject to change according to the event website. As of Monday, April 22 at 2 a.m. the event has raised more than $45,000.

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