TheRelay for Life event
TheRelay for Life event held at PAC Center at USI was a once in alifetime experience. It was an incredible experience that wouldforever be engraved in my memory, and it will hold a special place inmy heart. The event taught me that with unity, selflessness andkindness there is nothing that cannot be done. It left an impressionthat I will forever cherish. I made many friends that will belifelong friends. It taught me the importance of teamwork. The eventwas held on the 11 of April inside the PAC Center at the Universityof Southern Indiana. The event was for 12 hours it ran from 6:00pmSaturday to 6:00am Sunday. The theme of the event was Olympics. Ithad different activities throughout the night it had entertainment,food, and on-site fundraisers. Our team was assigned to the countryRussia.
Theevent consisted of seven major activities and numerous minor ones.The seven main activities included the opening ceremony where all theteams and individuals took part in the relay were welcomed. Thesecond activity was the survivors lap, and it included cancersurvivors taking a lap around the track as a sign of celebration forovercoming cancer. The next activity was the caregiver lap meant forindividuals or family members that have stood by cancer patients intheir most trying times. The next activity was the official openinglap where all the participating teams were invited to take a laparound the track to get a fill of it. The next event was theLuminaria ceremony candles, and luminaria bags were lit in honor andmemory of friends or loved ones who have passed away or who arefighting cancer. The next activity was the fight back ceremony, whichis the closing ceremony of the event. In the activity, relayers tooka final lap around the track and made a pledge to spread the messageof cancer its dangers, treatment, prevention and its researchawareness.
Duringthe entire duration of the event, individuals were welcome to walkround the track together with their friends and family members.Individuals could also take part in entertainment, family games, andmany other activities. During the event, our team just like theothers got a chance to camp out around the track. The members of eachof the teams participating had a chance to take a lap around thetrack. The other activities that our group took part in includedfood, games, and entertainments such as the pump-It-Up Zumba. At theend of the night, awards were given out for the best team fundraiser,the best university fundraiser, the most spirited team, and the bestindividual fundraiser. The event began at 6.00 pm with the openingCeremony the Luminaria Ceremony took place from 10.00pm and thefinal activity of the night was the Pump-It-Up Zumba, which startedat 2:00am.
Thehighlights of the night were the survivors lap, the caregiver’sceremony, the Luminaria ceremony, and the fight back ceremony. Thesurvivors lap was an amazing site. A group of cancer patients tookthe first lap round the track as a celebration of their victory overcancer. All the other participants lined the track to cheer them onas they took lap. The caregiver’s ceremony recognized andcelebrated the good work done by cancer patient caregivers for theirselflessness and who give love, support, and time to their coworkers,neighbors, friends, and family members who are facing cancer.
TheLuminaria ceremony was something special. As the sun was setting,there was a defining silence, and Luminarias were lit and placedround the track to light up the place. Once they were lit caregivers,family members, survivors, and participants gathered to honorpatients fighting cancer and to give their respects to those who werelost to the disease. As a way to hour, the departed and thosefighting the disease participants and family members dedicatedluminaria bags to them. .Each of the bags was personalized and givena name, a photo and a small message or drawing is placed on it, tohour a friend, college or loved ones who are or have been affected bythe disease, Each of the bags represented or was a sign of a person.It could be a brother, father, mother, sister, grandmother, nephews,co-workers, neighbors, or even a good friend. The bags were white incolor, but gold bags and tribute torches were spotted at the event.
Thefight back ceremony was an emotionally charged affair. It was used toinspire participants to be proactive and take action to spread themessage and awareness of cancer. It was a symbol of the emotionalcommitment made by each participant in the fight against the disease.The action we took is a representation of what we are willing to do,for not only our loved ones but also our friends, our neighbors, thenation and ourselves. The event was an incredible experience one thatI will relive for many years to come. It taught me to value love onesand showed me the important role they play in my life.
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