Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inside the Community- Relay for Life

This week I started work on the committee for Relay for Life at Loyola. This is one of the biggest events that the school hosts on campus. Relay for Life is an event led by the American Cancer Society to honor those who have lost and are still fighting the battle against cancer. During the meeting we discussed the goals that we have as students at Loyola to make sure that we properly honor cancer survivors, pay tribute to the lives lost to the disease, and raise money to help fight it – all right here! It takes place over the course of one day, teams form and pay tribute by participating in a walk. This is much more than just a walk, it is the time when we can put forth all the work and energy into a time to celebrate those who have battled cancer, remember those lost and get inspired to fight back- a time where nothing else matters . The organization and event itself is a place where everyone can come together and share this meaningful experience. Those who have shared the same experience find common ground; our goal as committee members is to spread hope and the prayer for healing at Relay. I have joined to represent people in my life who have fought and are still fighting these awful battles. I am going to act as a member of the recruitment team to try and get members of our school and the community involved in this event. By getting people to participate you try to promote the American Cancer Society’s core values. This is their progress toward a future where cancer doesn’t take the lives of our friends and family. Hopefully it will bring our school and all those who participate closer together in the fight against this awful disease.

Just like the values of the American Cancer Society another reason that this event is so popular and worthwhile on campus is because it defines the Jesuit way of life. This event promotes the individual within a community, and educates everyone outside the classroom. The whole person is not only defined by the educational system and Relay for Life will open eyes to the horrible world of cancer, give opportunities to help, and also teach valuable lessons. The Jesuit education also promotes links between prayer and culture, one of the most memorable parts of participating in Relay is the laps of silence. This is the portion of the walk where those who have died are remembered; as silence is struck through the gym everyone prays and thinks for all those touched by cancer.

All of the points in Father Kolvenbach’s essay of the lifelong openness to growth, and Jesuit education ideals to work and better the whole person can be improved and defined working with Relay for Life. This event can involve much more of a person then just in the classroom, and work toward a bigger cause within our small community. On top of this, it emphasizes knowledge of the whole world that many of us are touched by; giving the opportunity to help loved ones that are changed by cancer.

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