Saving lives one lap at a time

By Ashley Pereyra

Students, faculty and staff have the opportunity to join the Baylor community today to support cancer research and education.

The 6th Annual Relay for Life runs from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday on Baylor campus at Fountain Mall.

It is a 12 hour event to raise money for the American Cancer Society, an organization that is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem.

The event is hosted by Zeta Tau Alpha, BU Meds, Alpha Phi Omega and Beta Kappa Gamma.

The night is comprised of activities designed to keep attendees awake and enthralled, said Beaumont senior Stephanie Parks, an event chair for Baylor Relay for Life.

“The idea behind it is that cancer never sleeps so, neither will we,” Parks said.

The opening ceremony will be at 7 p.m. with two separate designated laps for cancer survivors and caregivers directly afterwards in order to honor these people.

Participants can walk, jog or run the laps, Parks said.

“You don’t have to run. A lot of people don’t know that,” Parks said. “They come to the relay and go, ‘Okay, well do I have to run the whole time?’ No.”

The two major events of the night are the Luminaria ceremony at 9 p.m. and the Fight Back ceremony at 11 p.m.

The Luminaria ceremony honors cancer survivors, supports people who currently have cancer, and remembers people they have lost to cancer, according to the Relay for Life website.

During the ceremony, attendees light tea lights in $5 decorated white bags.

Parks said people each year come just for the Luminaria ceremony because of its beauty.

The Fight Back ceremony focuses on the emotional commitment individuals make to the fight against cancer.

The ceremony will feature a talk from Dr. Erika Abel, a Baylor lecturer and adviser in the biology department.

Other highlights from the night include Mr. Relay, in which men can choose to dress like girls and compete to acquire the highest cumulative donation in 30 minutes, Pie a Professor, where students can buy a $5 pie to decorate the face of a professor, a dunk tank with A.J. Walton, performances from Savion Wright and The Derivatives, a glow in the dark water balloon toss, late night Tug of War and Zumba.

For more information about the Baylor Relay for Life, please visit the page Relay for Life at Baylor University on Facebook.

Relay for Life Schedule of Events

Opening Ceremony: 7 p.m. Tonight
The Opening Ceremony brings everyone together for a high-energy kickoff event to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, to inspire hope by sharing recent accomplishments and progress and to remind everyone that while we are winning this battle, fighting cancer is a year-round priority.

Survivors Lap: Immediately following Opening Ceremony
During the Survivors Lap, upbeat music plays as all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around the track cheered on by the other participants who line the track, celebrating their victory over cancer.

Caregivers Lap: Immediately following Opening Ceremony
During the Caregivers Lap, anyone who ever cared for someone with cancer walks a lap so they can be honored for their support. Caregivers walk this lap with the people they helped if they are also present at the event.

Luminaria Ceremony: 9 p.m.
The Luminaria Ceremony is a time to remember people lost to cancer, to support people who currently have cancer, and to honor people who have fought cancer in the past. The power of this ceremony lies in providing an opportunity for people to work through grief and find hope.

Fight Back: 11:00 – 11:45 p.m.
The Fight Back Ceremony symbolizes the emotional commitment made to the fight against cancer. The action represents what people are willing to do for others, for loved ones, and for the community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.

Closing Ceremony: 6 a.m. Saturday
The Closing Ceremony is a time to remember the lives of those lost, to celebrate the commitment, through participation in a Relay event, and to fight back against this disease over the next year.