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Backing the battle against cancer

Queen's Relay For Life gets underway Friday night with a goal of 500 participants raising a combined $115,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society.

By Andrew Carroll, Gazette editor For the majority of Queen’s Relay for Life participants, getting involved in the annual fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society is personal. And that’s the case for the three co-presidents of this year’s event. For Josh Barnes (Artsci’19) his grandmother and aunt battled the disease and survived. Danica Goodchild (Artsci’18) met a cancer survivor and fellow student at her high school and the two have become close friends through Relay. Madison Yakimishyn (NSc’19) lost her mother when she was just nine years old. Each year, Queen’s students gather at the Athletics and Recreation Centre to participate in a 12-hour overnight relay to raise funds for the battle against cancer. This year, the 12th annual event, being held Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10, is aiming to attract 500 participants and raise $115,000. A mixture of fun, determination and remembrance, the strength of the Relay for Life is the sense of community it creates and the support it provides to survivors, those battling cancer, and for those who have lost loved ones. “One of the things that is so special about Relay is that you have those moments where you are celebrating the people who have survived but you also have those really profound moments that are really reflective and allow people to come together through those they have lost,” says Ms.Yakimishyn.  Planning for the Relay started in the summer and ramped up during the fall semester. Working with an organizing committee of 24 students from across campus, the co-presidents say that it has been a lot of work but it definitely has been rewarding. Throughout the night participants will be able to take part in team challenges and fun activities, while the signature Luminary Ceremony – where candles are lit for loved ones lost – will be held at midnight. They will also hear from survivors about what the Relay for Life really means and why the battle must continue. “Hopefully the more years we run the Relay for Life the more success stories we will have,” Mr. Barnes says. “That’s what we are working towards.” To learn more or to get involved, visit the Queen’s Relay for Life website of Facebook page
In 2017, Queen's Relay for Life raised $112,732 for the Canadian Cancer Society. This year they are aiming to raise more than $115,000. (Supplied photo)

For the majority of Queen’s Relay For Life participants, getting involved in the annual fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society is personal.

And that’s the case for the three co-presidents of this year’s event.

For Josh Barnes (Artsci’19) his grandmother and aunt battled the disease and survived. Danica Goodchild (Artsci’18) met a cancer survivor and fellow student at her high school and the two have become close friends through Relay. Madison Yakimishyn (NSc’19) lost her mother when she was just nine years old.

Each year, Queen’s students gather at the Athletics and Recreation Centre to participate in a 12-hour overnight relay to raise funds for the battle against cancer. This year, the 12th annual event, being held Friday, March 9 and Saturday, March 10, is aiming to attract 500 participants and raise $115,000.

A mixture of fun, determination and remembrance, the strength of the Relay for Life is the sense of community it creates and the support it provides to survivors, those battling cancer, and for those who have lost loved ones.

“One of the things that is so special about Relay is that you have those moments where you are celebrating the people who have survived but you also have those really profound moments that are really reflective and allow people to come together through those they have lost,” says Ms.Yakimishyn. 

Planning for the Relay started in the summer and ramped up during the fall semester. Working with an organizing committee of 24 students from across campus, the co-presidents say that it has been a lot of work but it definitely has been rewarding.

Throughout the night participants will be able to take part in team challenges and fun activities, while the signature Luminary Ceremony – where candles are lit for loved ones lost – will be held at midnight.

They will also hear from survivors about what the Relay For Life really means and why the battle must continue.

“Hopefully the more years we run the Relay For Life the more success stories we will have,” Mr. Barnes says. “That’s what we are working towards.”

To learn more or to get involved, visit the Queen’s Relay for Life website of Facebook page.