By Jack Parsley | Reporter
Baylor Relay for Life raised $20,198.40 for the American Cancer Society on Friday.
Hundreds of Baylor students spent the evening walking around Fountain Mall in support of cancer patients. Students signed up for the event in teams, and each team was required to have at least one person walking in the relay at a time.
In addition to the relay itself, there were many events and attractions that took place during Relay for Life like carnival games, Zumba, a performance by Guerilla Troupe, Pokey-O’s and Pie-A-Professor.
There was also a luminaria ceremony to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer. Luminaria bags were purchased online and placed around Fountain Mall in honor of loved ones who had died from cancer.
Relay for Life holds a special significance for cancer survivors like Arlington junior Rebekah Tate.
“It means a lot to me because it is cool to see everyone supporting one big cause,” Tate said. “Cancer does affect so many people whether or not you have it, a loved one has it or a friend has it. It doesn’t just affect that one person.”
Doctors found a tumor on Tate’s right leg when she was three months old, Tate said. To prevent the spread of cancer, the doctors amputated her leg when she was four months old, Tate said.
“I was really young when I had cancer, so I don’t remember a lot about it, but I’ve had loved ones go through cancer as well,” Tate said. “Coming here and taking those memories and getting to see people coming together and celebrating people who have survived and also walking for people who are still fighting and who have passed away is really cool to see. “
Tate praised the Baylor Relay for Life Committee and how it included the survivors in the event.
“[The committee members] just love to reach out to you and make you feel welcome and loved. They have a dinner for a bunch of survivors all across Waco,” Tate said. “I think Baylor does a good job of making sure we all feel included.”
Forty teams participated in Relay for Life, and many of the teams were composed of student organizations. Each team helped raise money by creating a booth that had different carnival games for people to play while they weren’t walking in the relay.
Many students who joined a Relay for Life team have a personal reason to support cancer research like Pearland senior Caitlyn Jardon.
“My best friend’s mom had cancer, so for me it’s important that people are made aware of cancer and then donate and support, “ Jardon said. “It’s just so important to remember everyone who has been through that and survived or not survived. The best thing we can do is to make sure that they are not forgotten.”
For more information about Relay for Life and its various fundraisers all over the country, go to relay.acsevents.org/.