Relay for Life walkers raise money for cancer

According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control, roughly 14 million people globally are told they have cancer every year. This is an enormous piece of the world’s population, and it creates heartache for an untold number of families.

For this reason, it’s as important now as ever that research be funded to help find a cure for this debilitating disease.

Relay for Life is an event put on to raise cancer awareness and provide assistance for those affected by it. Its events are held worldwide, with more than four million people from 20 countries taking part in the massive fundrwaiser.

This Friday night to Saturday morning UND hosted its own Relay for Life event in the Hyslop Sports Center, with 26 teams earning $15,172 for the American Cancer Society.

“The purpose of the event is to raise awareness and donations for people that are battling cancer and their caregivers,” Publicity Chairwoman for UND Relay for Life Mariah Jorda said.

What sets the Relay for Life event from other charities is the event challenges teams to keep at least one of their members on the track throughout the entire night.

“We want have at least one person from every team on the track at all times, because cancer never sleeps,” Jorda said. “It’s our theme for the night.”

After paying an initial $10 fee, participants are asked to fundraiser as much as they can for the nonprofit.

“We made Oreo chocolate truffles that we sold for $1 per pack at the event,” participant Joe Dietz said. “We also got a lot of donations from people that wanted to sponsor us walking all night.”

Dietz’s team initially wanted to raise $1,000 for the event, but their goal was quickly surpassed.

“We had over a dozen people in our group,” Dietz said. “Together, we raised $1,162, and we were the fourth highest earning team overall.”

Besides the continuous walking on the track, participants also were treated to a variety of events to help stay awake throughout the night, ranging from limbo to Zumba dancing to a scavenger hunt.

“We had stuff going on all night,” Jorda said. “We had cancer survivors come to share their stories at the beginning, and then after we had ton of games and some raffles going on.”

When asked about his favorite event of the night, Dietz was quick to respond.

“The best event of the night was the Mr. Relay Pageant,” Dietz said. “I got to see one of my RAs dressed up as a woman, and it was hilarious.”

Brendan McCabe is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].