Letter to the Editor: Relay for Life

“Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.” It is the battle cry of those who participate in Relay For Life all over the world. Reading the article in Monday’s issue prompted me to write what I felt about the Relay For Life of the University of Miami.

The Relay For Life at the UM is the longest and biggest fundraising event on campus. It involves many student Orgs reaching out to over 500 students. UM’s Relay doesn’t go overnight like most other Relay’s, but it runs all day in Stanford Circle. Also unique to UM’s Relay is that it is totally planned by Undergraduate students, unlike most community-based events organized by community members. Because of this, URelay is a great time full of activities and events that are planned with UM students’ in mind. Relay is a truly touching experience. For those who have never been to a Relay For Life before, I encourage you to stop by Stanford Circle on Saturday and join in the festivities.

Relay to me, is a time where people of all walks of life bond together for a common goal: to beat cancer. Meeting total strangers and knowing that you are both going through the same horrible experience that is cancer is a truly lasting experience that changes lives forever. Walking around Stanford Circle being led by a bagpiper playing “Amazing Grace” and being surrounded by Luminaria bags with the names of those affected by cancer is a time when everyone joins in mourning over those who have lost the tragic battle.

Looking at any Relay For Life across the world, a common sight appears: Survivors. Each year there seems to be more and more cancer survivors that attend Relays. This is a true sign that the money raised at Relays truly makes a difference in the lives of those touched by cancer. We Relay for our moms, dads, sisters, brothers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, bosses and coworkers. We Relay for the future. We Relay for hope. We Relay For Life.

Michael Piacentino is a freshman majoring in political science. He may be contacted at m.piacentino@umiami.edu.