One of the worst experiences a person can have is to lose a loved oneto cancer. Emily Lovejoy made a tear-filled speech at Saturday’s Relay for Life fund raiser. She talked about the dreadful experience of losing her mother, whom she called her best friend. There are numerous stories like Emily’s which describe experiences with cancer. This disease is now one of the most common causes of death in the United States, and it has caused unimaginable suffering for the patients and their families. It is essential that we fight this disease in order to decrease the pain that these people feel. Hofstra has teamed up with relay for Life for an annual event to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
During the first event four years ago, there were only 300 participants. However, this fund raiser has grown in popularity so that there were over 1,000 participants in this year’s Relay for Life event. It was the most successful event so far: the university managed to raise over $104,000, according to the latest estimates. Heather Schnepf, the secretary of Phi Eta Sigma, said that the university now wants to have the most participants in an event, since other colleges and even high schools partake in the fund raiser. I was there as a member of Phi Eta Sigma, and it was a very emotional experience. They showed a video of students who lost loved ones, and there were several people that had multiple family members with this disease. There were also speakers at the event who talked about how they have either lost a family member to cancer or battled the disease themselves. I commend these speakers for being strong enough to discuss such a horrible topic. It is tragic that so many people have suffered, either directly or indirectly, because of cancer.
However, it was very inspiring to see so many people showing up to participate in this worthwhile event.
Heather Schnepf described how involved each participant was. “Whenever there was a speaker, everyone gave their undivided attention,” she said. It would have taken away from the speeches if people had been walking around.” The most memorable aspect of the event was the luminaria ceremony, where paper bags were placed around the field with lit candles. Each bag represented someone who died from cancer. For me, the flames symbolized the spirit that people must maintain after losing someone to cancer. What made the event even better is that Pix 11 News showed up in order to cover the event. I saw the report about the fund raiser the following night. This coverage is very important because it spreads the message even further, and it will hopefully inspire other people to join the cause. Everyone at Hofstra has concern for each other, which is why we are motivated to come out on a chilly Saturday night and show our solidarity in facing such a difficult task. There are plenty of people who, like Emily Lovejoy, have had their families torn apart by this terrible disease.
Hopefully, the popularity of this event will keep increasing, and we can continue the fight against cancer.