Relay For Life is a 24-hour event benefiting the American Cancer Society. Michigan community members join together in the fight against cancer in the hopes that one day cancer will be eliminated. Last year, Relay For Life had over 5,000 participants here at the University. We raised over $305,000 in 2009 and have been nationally recognized as one of the top five collegiate fundraising events.

At Relay For Life, we celebrate cancer survivors. A cancer survivor is anyone living with a history of cancer, from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life. Anyone who has lived one day with cancer is a survivor. Survivors are encouraged to attend our event to help us celebrate all the successes we have accomplished.

At the University we take great pride in our superb faculty, staff, administration and community, and as such we are encouraging you to join the Michigan community in the fight against cancer. Most people have been affected by cancer at some point in their lives. Relay For Life serves as a means to celebrate the successes we have had in the arenas of cancer research and patient support, remember those who have lost their lives in the battle against cancer, and to fight back.

I participate in the Relay to find a cure so that others don’t have to deal with the pain of cancer. My grandmother was diagnosed with cancer before I was born, but she survived and I never knew what she really went through. But the summer before my freshman year of college, the cancer resurfaced. She considered not going through with surgery because of the pain it had caused her earlier in life. This was devastating to me. What would I do without my grandma? She ended up getting the surgery and was told that it gave her another 20 years of life, which I am so grateful for. But it was very hard for me to move away to school while she was recovering. I couldn’t believe that my grandma had almost been taken away from me. The pain and sadness I felt was awful and I wish no one would ever have to feel such emotions because of cancer.

Join me and over 2,800 participants at Relay For Life at Palmer Field, from 10 a.m. on Apr. 10 to 10 a.m. on Apr. 11. The day of Relay includes a lot of food, games, entertainment, sports and, most importantly, being a part of Michigan’s fight against cancer. All money raised goes directly to the American Cancer Society to help fund research efforts and programs to support cancer patients and their families. As an amazing research institute, the University receives a number of grants each year sponsored by the American Cancer Society for cancer research.

Starting a team is extremely easy — you can sign up today at www.mrelay.org. Between now and Relay, team members must register and then begin to fundraise. This is a great way to encourage and promote unity throughout all departments, schools and colleges, as well as support University students while helping out a great cause. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail mrelay10@umich.edu.

Join Michigan in uniting for a common cause in the hopes that cancer will one day be eliminated.

Aimrie Ream is an LSA junior.

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