Seton Hall Business Major Susan Phillips has faced many issues throughout her life. She was dealt an unfortunate hand in having to care for her aunt, who had many reoccurrences of breast cancer. This took a huge toll on Phillips’ life: she could only watch as her aunt battled the cancer. The disease went into remission, but unfortunately returned one last time. In early February, Phillip’s aunt lost her battle with breast cancer.
“I didn’t want to admit it to myself, but I knew it was her time,” Phillips said. “I know that she is definitely in a better place now, but I still miss her every day and continue to help raise awareness in my community.”
There is a history of cancer in Susan’s family so for years she has taken part in the Relay For Life programs. Even though she is healthy now, she still takes the right precautions in keeping her body cancer free. Seeing that cancer does in fact run in her family, she said a little part of her is scared every day when she wakes up, so that is her reasoning for visiting the doctor so often. However, this year, she will be relaying at Seton Hall for her aunt in particular.
Relay For Life is a program held to raise money for cancer research and cancer patients. The event is held to spread cancer awareness and to celebrate the lives of survivors. Individuals also attend Relay to remember those who lost their lives to cancer, and to come together as a community in the fight against cancer. Relay For Life will be held on April 13 in the Richie Regan Recreation and Athletic Center. Registration will begin at 5 p.m. and the opening ceremony will begin at 7 p.m.
Relay for Life is one of the biggest events on campus. Last year, over 600 people attended and the University raised $56,000. This year’s relay chair, junior Alexa Mangini,, has high expectations for this year’s program and thinks they will be able to raise even more this year.
“My committee and I are extremely excited for this Relay,” Mangini said. “We would like for this to be a bigger and better Relay. Our goal is to raise $60,000 and we are confident with the help of the Seton Hall students and community we can reach this goal.”
This year’s relay plans to have many performers. Returning singer and songwriter, Ryan Kozar, singers John Thomas and Alberto Vergara, and Indian dance group Newark Ka Noor are expected to be in attendance this year.
Along with the many performances, DJ James Coyle will provide music all night during the relay.
Although students attend Relay for Life for different reasons and people, they all have a common goal.
“A little boy from my church just recently passed away from Leukemia. He was the cutest little thing,” remembers Briana Melecio, public relations major “So strong, you never would’ve thought he was even sick. That’s who I’m relaying for this year.”
“I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and I am relaying with my sorority sisters this year,” English major Brittany Bruce said. “I am so excited for this program! Last year’s was so much fun and it’s for a great cause. I do not know anybody personally who has had cancer, but I do realize many people do and I am relaying for those who have had it and survived, along with those who have lost their battle..”
“I wanted to be a part of the relay for life committee so bad this year! But being obligated to so many other organizations on campus I was unable to,” student Krystal Turner said. “I will be relaying for my grandma, who passed a couple years ago from cancer. She was a very big part of my life, and anything to help raise awareness is cool in my book.
Last year, the University created a giant birthday party for their themeworld with more birthdays and less cancer. Although the committee still wanted the birthday theme to remain, they wanted to incorporate a spooky theme as well. They figured it will be a fun idea seeing as it is going to be Friday the 13. The theme this year will be scare away cancer for a world with more birthdays.
Gabriella Giuffre can be reached at email@example.com.