Relay for Life aims to raise donations


Colleges Against Cancer will host its main fundraising event of the year, Relay for Life, Friday, April 22 in Sexauer Field from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. Participants will partake in a campus and community walk, food, games and entertainment all to raise awareness and donations for the American Cancer Society.

Funds given to the American Cancer Society go toward hope lodges, calling centers, cancer patient travel costs, medical bills and cancer research.

The race entrance fee for individuals or groups to sign up online is $10. Groups that register can set up a table and start their own original ways to fundraise for Colleges Against Cancer.

According to Julia Audrus, medical laboratory science major and Colleges Against Cancer student sponsor, people who aren’t necessarily impacted by cancer should consider going to the event to help the general cause.

“[People should participate so] you can give someone who’s fighting cancer more birthdays,” Audrus said. “I know a lot of people are involved the group who aren’t directly affected by cancer. Just seeing how it affects the family members of the patient kind of motivates them.”

Relay for Life will also feature an honorary survivor, Kim Weeks, who will speak about her experience going through and surviving cancer. New to this year will also be an honorary caregiver, Mikena Albers, who will speak about her experience helping someone close to her go through treatment.

“To have an honorary survivor means we can honor all the work they went through on fighting cancer. We let them share their story to explain how much cancer can take out of a patient and family,” Colleges Against Cancer student sponsor Shelby Palmquist said. “To have an honorary caregiver means we can honor all the support they did for their loved one who had cancer.”

Some students who don’t know what it’s like to have a close one go through cancer can learn what it’s like on both sides of the hospital bed, Audrus said.

“I think it’s really important [to have an honorary survivor speak] for people who haven’t had people in their life affected by cancer, so hearing that really affirmed me that I’m doing this and it shows that what we’re doing is affecting people,” Audrus said.

Although Colleges Against Cancer holds fundraising events throughout the year, this event is special because it raises awareness throughout the community as well as the campus, according to Jennifer Feilmeier, Colleges Against Cancer chair holder and pre-nursing major.

“It’s been very stressful [planning this event], there’s a lot more that goes into that most expect. It’s a lot of work and talking to a lot of people, but it’s still a fun experience,” Feilmeier said.

Feilmeier expects the amount of participants to rise from last year’s event.

The event is open to the public so that it may have an impact in the lives of those who aren’t directly affected by cancer, Albers said.

“Our club is really about spreading awareness of cancer around the community. We have been fundraising and reaching out to local businesses within Brookings, and everyone has been amazing,” Albers said. “Most of us, if not all, have been affected by cancer at some point, and I think that what drives us the most is that we are doing something bigger than ourselves, and we are working to see an end of this ruthless disease.”

Weeks is excited to speak about her experiences through cancer and share another day with her daughter and SDSU student Jarah Weeks.

“I don’t mean to sound cheesy, but I am honored,” Weeks said. “She [Jarah] was only in middle school when I was diagnosed … she had to be terrified, she has been through it all with me. This is a testament to the kind of human being that my daughter, Jarah, is.”