Relay for Life is a global movement to end cancer. Every year, students, families and friends come together to raise funds for cancer research, to celebrate cancer survivors and to remember those we’ve lost to the disease. Jason Thorpe, the Maritime Relay for Life youth coordinator of the Canadian Cancer Society, said “At the Canadian Cancer Society, we believe life is bigger than cancer. Through Relay For Life, we join together to celebrate and remember those who live and have lived in the face of cancer.”

Team members take turns walking around a designated path over the course of the event, which is between six and 12 hours long. Generally, each team has one member walking the track at all times to symbolize the ongoing fight against cancer.

For many years now, Sackville’s Relay For Life has been in October. University students and community members would get together on what was usually quite a frigid Friday night to participate in the event. This year, the Canadian Cancer Society has decided to postpone the event until March 2019. “After consulting with school community stakeholders, the Canadian Cancer Society has decided to reschedule the Relay to coincide event timing with other post-secondary events throughout Atlantic Canada,” said Thorpe. Having Relay around the same time as other Atlantic Canadian schools could potentially spark a new friendly fundraising competition between institutions, similar to that which is initiated by Shinerama.

Although the Canadian Cancer Society believes that having Relay for Life in March will be better for our campus, some students don’t see it in the same way. “I think changing it to March will impact the atmosphere of the event, because the most magical part of Relay for Life is lighting the luminaries outside in the academic quad when it gets dark with the names of all the cancer survivors and those we have lost to cancer,” said third year biology student Jillian Bishops. “It also spreads out cancer initiatives because April is cancer awareness month, so having it in October allows it to be a more year-round campaign.”

Thorpe is looking to put together a committee of students to ensure the coming Relay is successful. Each member will have a specific role and will receive training and support from the Relay for Life youth team. Those interested in helping can contact jason.thorpe@ns.cancer.ca.

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