A year ago, when Danielle ’11 asked permission to organize a Relay For Life fundraiser at Middlesex to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS), she never imagined the endeavor would be repeated in 2012. “It just seemed like an event that would be good for Middlesex,” Danielle recalls. “It would bring the community together for a good cause and be fun at the same time.”
She was right. The five-hour walk on campus back in April 2011 involved more than 150 students, faculty, and staff and successfully raised $17,000 – about twice the amount mini-relays typically achieve. “It just shows that our community is a strong one when we come together,” says Danielle. “Middlesex was the perfect place to hold it because everything came together around the Circle. It was an inspiring day and a worthwhile event.”
As early as last summer, this year’s senior leaders of Middlesex’s Cancer Awareness Group started talking with their advisor, Sarah Moss Cohane ’95, about holding another relay. “This is really the students’ initiative,” says Sarah, “and they are an impressive, dedicated group.” As the ACS liaison helping Middlesex, Ashlee Iber adds, “It’s fantastic to have a whole team working on it. This year, we have two faculty members and six students coordinating the event.”
Set for April 28, the 2012 Relay For Life will again be a five-hour event open to the whole school. Teams of walkers have been signing up to participate, committing to have one team member walking around the Circle at all times. Music, food, games, and candlelit memorials will help make this an evening of celebration, hope, and remembrance.
In addition to funding research, the proceeds will be used for a variety of programs and services that help patients, caregivers, and survivors, including summer camps for pediatric cancer patients, lodging for those who must travel far from home for treatment, and transportation to and from medical appointments. “Cancer affects many people and their families,” Ashlee says. “All of our support programs are for everyone.”