The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CAC raises funds, Relay for Life

The CSUN chapter of Colleges Against Cancer will be hosting the university’s first Relay For Life fundraising event on Saturday, April 19 to Sunday, April 20 at the Sierra Quad.

The 24-hour event is a signature fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, which celebrates the survivors and remembers those who lost their lives to cancer.

Relay For Life is the largest non-profit fundraising event and has been hosted on a variety of college campuses, but this is the first time that will take place at CSUN, said Joe Gurney, a senior recreation and tourism management major and CSUN’s chapter president of the CAC.

The event will begin with the Cancer Survivor’s “Celebrate” Ceremony, followed by the relays first lap taken around the track by survivors. Team members will then take turns for 24 hours around the track, symbolizing the life of a person living with cancer.

The event will also include entertainment, food and variety of other activities and resources, which have been made available through donations and sponsorship.

Gurney said the event will provide a large support group for CSUN and the community by celebrating and honoring cancer survivors and victims.

“One out of three people has cancer,” said Gurney. “Out of 33 thousand students, someone has been touched by (cancer).”

One of the highlighted events scheduled is the Luminaria “Remember” Ceremony at 10 p.m. on Saturday. During this time, brown bags with the names of those who have been affected by cancer will be lit with candlelight and lined on the Oviatt Library steps spelling the word “hope,” in memory and honor of those names placed on the bags said Gurney.

Zack Reed-Fier, 20, cinema and television arts major and the Relay For Life co-event chair, said the goal of the event is not limited to fundraising for cancer but also includes bringing the community to the campus.

Reed-Fier said the more people come in contact with cancer survivors, the more they find out how quickly everyone is affected by the disease.

“It’s family, friends and it’s your community letting someone know you understand what they’re going through,” said Fier.

This year’s event also includes speeches by honored survivors, which includes a faculty member and a student.

Dr. Craig Finney, chair of the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management and captain of the recreation and tourism management team participating in the event, is one of the honored survivors for the event.

“It’s a pleasant responsibility to represent all the survivors I know and others I don’t know,” said Finney.

Finney is a prostate cancer survivor who credits early detection and treatment of the disease as being the driving force in his recovery. He said this event also allows for him to stress the importance fighting cancer in anyway possible.

“Be in a support group, pass on literature, there is always something we can do,” said Finney.

Freshman Jennifer Anderson, 18, is also an honored survivor and will share her story during the event. Anderson was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease her sophomore year of high school.

“I kind of ignored all the signs?That word cancer never came to my mind,” said Anderson.

Anderson said young adults tend to think they’re immune to cancer but they should be aware that anyone can get cancer at any stage in their life. She said attending this event will provide college students and community members with information they did not know about cancer.

After undergoing aggressive chemotherapy, Anderson is currently in remission. She also serves as the registration chair on the committee.

“At least come for the opening Cancer Survivor’s ‘Celebrate’ Ceremony, or just come for some part of the event,” said Anderson. “Because I guarantee you will want to participate for next year’s event.”

This year’s event is hopefully providing the foundation for more Relay For Life events to occur at CSUN, while also spreading information about the work of the American Cancer Society, said Reed-Fier.

“Since the relay started over 25 years ago, 1.6 billion dollars has been fundraised for cancer research, treatment, service, education and advocacy,” said Reed-Fier.

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