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Survivors walk the first lap at the Rebel Relay for Life. (Photo/Kim Ulmanis)
Survivors walk the first lap at the Rebel Relay for Life. (Photo/Kim Ulmanis)

Relay Raises Money and Awareness for Fight Against Cancer

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The UNLV Relay For Life Committee held its annual fundraiser for the American Cancer Society at the Myron Patridge Track Stadium April 18 to raise cancer awareness.

Various teams raised money for the relay months in advance.

Liz Pollok, an executive assistant to owners of My Left Food Children’s Therapy, a children’s therapeutic clinic, says that employees have been promoting the event within their company and have reached their goal of $1,000.

Pollok also says that the company works with a wide range of diagnoses, one of which is working with children who have gotten out of cancer treatments.

“There are so many people affected by cancer,” Pollok said. “Events like these are so fantastic because it could have been depressing, but it’s not. It’s so upbeat!”

Cancer survivor and Relay For Life first-timer James Thompson said that he was surprised at how large the event was.

“I came [to Relay For Life] kind of late, so I missed the entire first half,” he said. “But it’s crazy to see how many people are still here, even after the sun goes down.”

Thompson said that the amount of support and passion everyone had for the cause was overwhelming.

“Of course I had support from family and friends during treatments, but it was kind of different,” he said. “Sometimes it felt like, instead of seeing me, they only saw the disease and that somehow made them see me as a frail person—which is farthest from the truth. The phrase, ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,’ is true… at least for me.”

Thompson said that overall, he’s had a positive experience at Relay For Life, and would more than likely come again next year.

“But maybe I’ll remember to register next time,” he said.

One of the organizations that were present was Alpaj Zatj Upsilon chapter of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), a co-ed fraternity that dedicated proceeds from all of its fundraisers this semester to Relay For Life.

During the relay, the fraternity raised about $1,800, and members were continuing their efforts by selling various refreshments in order to meet their goal of $2,000.

Kimball said that although his main job at the event was to work at APO’s booth, he did get a chance to walk a couple of laps, which he dedicated to his grandfather, whose cancer is in remission.

“Technology is getting better every day, and some treatment costs are lowering, which makes it more available,” he said. “A lot of people don’t want to get tested because they don’t want to hear the result, but it’s important to get checked.”

APO President Matt Kimball says he’s been to about six Relay For Life events before, and the Survivor Lap is always his favorite.

“It’s good to see the same people year after year… especially the survivors,” he said.

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