Relay for Life 2015: There’s No Place Like Hope

Photo of Relay for Life board
Photo courtesy of Lauren Brown

What does the word “hope” mean to you? For some, it could be a word that defines the desire for something to simply happen. For cancer survivors, it could mean never having to hear the word “cancer” ever again. For senior Lauren Brown, “hope” is the single word that has pushed her to become the person she is today. As the Event Chair for the Mount’s Relay for Life Committee, she is inspired by hope.

“I Relay for hope,” said Brown. “I am hopeful that we can one day get rid of this disease and I am hopeful that those who have been affected by this nasty disease will be able to be cured and live the rest of their lives completely healthy.”

The Mount’s Relay for Life will take place from Friday, March 13 at 7 p.m. until the morning of Saturday, March 14 at 7 a.m. The all-night event ends after the “fight back” speaker addresses the Relay participants, and right after the sun rises, once balloons are released into the sky to commemorate those who have battled cancer.

“Why stay up all night?,” asks Brown. She answered, saying, “The 12-hour walk around the track has a greater meaning than just walking and Relaying all night. We walk the track for 12 hours to represent a cancer patient’s journey to becoming a survivor. It’s not easy, but it’s worth the fight.”

“The reason we do it overnight is so that we are able to celebrate a new day together. Each new day is another day that survivors can have hope. Each year we do Relay is another survivors’ birthday that we can celebrate,” she added.

The theme for this year’s Relay event is “There’s No Place Like Hope,” inspired by the classic film, “The Wizard of Oz.

This theme holds a symbolic meaning.

Dorothy represents the cancer patient on her cancer journey down the yellow brick road. The Scarecrow represents researchers because of his brain. The Tin Man represents the caregiver because of his heart, and the Cowardly Lion represents cancer survivors, because he didn’t know he had the courage all along. Most importantly the Ruby Slippers represent Hope, because, according to Brown, “they were always with Dorothy and ultimately helped her to finish her journey.”

Relay for Life is a national organization that is the top supporter of the American Cancer Society.

If you are interested in making or joining a team, you may contact Co-Chairs Lauren Brown at LEBrown@email.msmary.edu and Kaitlyn Sweeney at KNSweeney@email.msmary.edu for more information. For more information on how to support the Mount’s Relay for Life, visit http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLCY15SA?pg=entry&fr_id=64229. ​

Susannah Scully

Staff Writer for The Mountain Echo

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