There are three words that can change your life forever and no one wants to hear:
“You have cancer.”
To help fund a cure for cancer, the group “Colleges Against Cancer” put on a Relay for Life April 25 at UW-Superior. The fundraising event had a Hawaiian theme.
Four teams and two survivors came to walk and run for cancer research. The opening ceremony began 6 p.m. in Marcovich Wellness Center’s fieldhouse. UWS student Sarah Setayeshi sang the National Anthem.
“‘You have cancer’; three words that are heard way to often,” said keynote speaker and CAC President Emily Johnson, whose grandparent and two close family friends had the disease.
The two participating survivors were Margaret Collard, grandmother to UWS sophomore Shannon Baumann; and Ariel Johnson, also a UWS student.
Collard has blood and bone cancer, and had breast cancer. The family was at the Relay, walking for their grandma, other family members and friends.
Johnson learned she had cancer in April 2012.
“When I got the phone call from my doctor, I was in the YU,” she said at the luminaire-lighting ceremony. “All I remember hearing was the word ‘cancer.’ I dropped to my knees.” She went on to describe her struggle and her feelings through the process.
After Johnson’s speech, everyone started to walk around the luminaires that were circled on the inside of the track. They walked silently, remembering and honoring family members and friends who who have passed away from cancer, are still fighting cancer, or are survivors.
Along with the walk/run, activities included coconut pass, coconut bowling, silent auction, limbo and ring toss Teams competed against each other to pass the time and win prizes.
Sara Mowchan, American Cancer Society director for the Twin Ports area, helped put on the relay. All the money raised will be going to cancer research and programs to help the patients.
“I’ve been doing this for a year,” Mowchan said. “My dad and two grandparents had cancer.”
Mowchan also is helping put on a Relay for Life July 28 at the College of St. Scholastica. For more information go to relayforlife.com/DuluthMN.