The Daily Gamecock

Guest Column: Come to Relay For Life's main event Friday to help raise money for the American Cancer Society

USC’s Relay For Life is hosting our Main Event this Friday, March 25. Every USC student should take part in Relay For Life on our campus because cancer has touched a large majority of our lives in some way. If you’re not on a team already, you still have time to participate in this exciting overnight event to help us in our mission to end cancer.

Relay For Life is an organization on campus benefitting the American Cancer Society. Our Mission at USC Relay For Life is to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those our community has lost to this disease and help fund cancer research and treatment. 

Every 60 seconds, three people hear the words “you have cancer.” In that same minute, one person will lose their battle against the disease. The American Cancer Society is striving to put an end to statistics like these, and Relay For Life is one way through which they do it. 

Our hope is that we play a part in continuing to lower the percent of cancer deaths and to help fight for a world with more birthdays with the ones we love. Relay is extremely important due to its drive and power to make a truly remarkable change on cancer research. 

All of the money we fundraise here on campus through Relay For Life goes directly toward the American Cancer Society. The fundraising done as individuals and teams helps fund transportation to treatments, groundbreaking research, hospital stays and so much more. 

Our organization is truly making a difference in the lives of cancer patients, not just in Columbia, but everywhere across the United States.

The money we raise over the course of the year benefits cancer researchers both nationwide and right here at USC. Over $1 million raised by USC’s Relay For Life chapter funds four researchers here on campus in connection with the American Cancer Society. 

Being a part of an organization like Relay For Life has truly changed who we are as people. This is an organization full of so many different people who all have one thing in common, cancer has affected us all in some way — whether that be a personal, family member or friend’s battle, cancer has impacted us all in Relay. 

We strive for a future without cancer, a future without the pain and loss that cancer brings with it. Together we are making a difference.

As one of the Cancer Advocacy chairs, I see Relay For Life as more than a fundraising goal. Not only do we want to support those currently battling cancer and those who have survived, we also want to spread awareness. 

Stressing the importance of cancer prevention, early cancer screenings and education can help decrease the amount of diagnoses for future generations. Simple things like wearing sunscreen and staying active can help prevent cancer. Routine self-exams and screenings can make sure that the cancer is caught on the early side, which is when treatment is the most successful. 

These are the things that many people choose to ignore and instead put themselves at risk of cancer. Especially being on a college campus, it is easy to take your health for granted, however, prevention starts now — It starts with us.

USC’s Relay For Life Main Event is on Blatt Field this Friday from 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. We stay awake through the night to represent that cancer never sleeps. This is a night where we honor loved ones we have lost to cancer and celebrate those who have survived, we come together with a common goal and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Organizations on campus have created teams and have been working hard to fundraise throughout this year. We will all come together as one on Friday to celebrate our accomplishments with food, games, live music performances and more!

Please come and join us this Friday if you would like to join the fight against cancer.