Every day matters in UM’s Relay for Life

Step by step, dollar by dollar, the cure for cancer is just a relay away.

The fourth annual Relay for Life at the University of Miami will be held all day Saturday at Stanford Circle.

Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society (ACS), the largest non-governmental foundation for cancer research in the United States, spending approximately $130 million each year on the cause.

“There is an incredible sense of synergy because everyone is fighting for the same cause,” said Samantha Levine, publicity co-chair for the relay.
This year’s theme is “Every day matters in the fight against cancer.” The event includes live music, games and ceremonies.

The UM Relay committee named the week leading up to the event “Purple Week,” as a tribute to the purple ribbon, which designates support for cancer awareness.
Throughout the week, they will be giving away prizes from ACS, assigning teams spirit points and selling luminaries on the Rock.

Luminaries are bags decorated to represent those that lost, are currently fighting or survived a battle with cancer. During Relay, a lit candle is placed in each of the bags and they are put around the track. Luminaries can be purchased on the day of the event or on the Rock throughout the week for a suggested donation to ACS.

“Every time I pass one on the track, it reminds me of why I’m there,” said Levine, who is buying a luminaries for her father, who passed away from cancer.

Teams are encouraged to raise money for ACS before the event as well as fundraise on the day of the relay.

“Relay for Life is a time to remember those who have lost the fight against cancer, but also to celebrate the lives of those who have survived it,” senior Mauricio Abascal said.
Abascal has been participating since his freshman year.

“It is a time to come together and bring hope to those that are still fighting,” he said. “For me, it’s the least I can do to help keep my grandmother’s memory alive and seek to find an end to what took her from our family.”

Claudia Cruz may be contacted at ccruz@themiamihurricane.com.