It is likely that most people at Brock will know or know of someone affected by cancer. Each year, approximately 30.2 per cent of deaths in Canada are caused by cancer — a startling statistic that Brock Relay for Life aims to address.
The event, associated with the Canadian Cancer Society, aims to raise money for cancer research. Relay for Life events occur across Canadian high schools, post-secondary schools and in other community locations. This event lasts for 12 hours in order to symbolize a cancer patients journey and has run for nine consecutive years at Brock. This year, 116 participants are signed up so far and the number is expected to double by March.
Mikayla Hepburn, a third year Concurrent Education student, and Mikayla Robertson, a fourth year Concurrent Education student, are the current co-chairs of this event.
“I first learned about Relay for Life when I was in high school. I organized my high school event for two years before coming to Brock and seeking it out again. When I was in grade 12, my grandpa was admitted to the hospital after complaining about many pains in his body. Eventually, they found that it was cancer that spread all throughout his body,” said Hepburn.
“It was heartbreaking to see him like this and my family went through some really hard times when he passed because of the cancer. I continue to participate in Relay for Life because I know the struggle that families face when a loved one is battling cancer and I know that the Canadian Cancer Society provides amazing supports for those people. This charity has seen ground-breaking research which can only continue to be funded if events like Relay for Life raise money to fund them.”
This year, Brock Relay for Life is expecting to raise $50,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society. Last year, just over $37,000 was raised. Over the past nine years Brock has raised a total of $118,000. Brock Relay for Life wants to share their goal with the Brock community by encouraging faculty, staff and students to sign up for their events.
“Our committee seeks to reach as many people within the Brock community as possible. We want to encourage everyone to come to our event in March. With that being said, you do not have to be a Brock student to attend our event. Individuals within the community are more than welcome to attend our event. We also encourage Brock alumni to raise money and participate at Brock Relay for Life as well as invite cancer survivors in order for us to honour them,” said Hepburn.
On February 8, Brock Relay for Life held a Hoops for Hope tournament. This tournament was a co-ed with teams comprised of three players each. Six teams participated in this tournament and the winning team was awarded a prize pack donated from Popeyes Supplements in St. Catharines. This event raised $280, which will contribute to their goal of raising $50,000. Student organizers of this event were Emily Sleegers and Jaquelyn Bezaire, both in third year Business Administration Co-op.
Throughout the year, from September to March, Brock Relay for Life hosts one small fundraiser per month in order to reach the $50,000 goal. Hoops for Hope was the last monthly event planned before the main event in March but as of right now ideas are being speculated about hosting an Escape Room at Brock in March.
Details about this upcoming event can be found on experiencebu.brocku.ca. Currently, bracelets made by third year student Jenevieve Barnett are being sold along with Brock vs. Cancer long sleeve shirts. These items can be purchased in Mackenzie Chown A Block, Monday to Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The main event hosted by Brock Relay for Life will take place on Mar. 22 from 7:00 p.m. to Mar. 23 7:00 a.m.
This event will be hosted in the Ian Beddis Gym and individuals are encouraged to sign up by making a donation of $20 at relayforlife.ca/brocku. This donation fee will also give participants access to the event, food, activities and a t-shirt.
Students interested in raising awareness for cancer research, participating in Relay For Life or their upcoming events can visit experiencebu.brocku.ca relayforlife.ca.