Relay for Life raises $25,000 for cancer awareness
Relay for Life is one of many ways the American Cancer Society promotes awareness about cancer. All proceeds from Saturday’s event went to the organization.
Forty-two teams and 391 people, made up of various Stetson organizations and DeLand community members, participated in the event which lasted from noon Saturday, to 6 a.m. Sunday morning.
Participants were encouraged to have at least one person from each team walking the track at all times, while other members collected donations at their booths and joined in periodic competitions held by the DJ.
Music played the entire day and there were themed laps every hour, such as walking backwards and the Harlem Shake lap.
Whitney Pinson, a 19-year-old Stetson University freshman and cancer survivor, was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. She introduced the cancer survivors who joined her at the podium as well as initiated the survivor walk which officially started the event. (Don Musser, religious studies professor and cancer survivor, pictured wearing a hat, helped carry the banner in the opening ceremony. Pinson, far left also in a purple shirt, is also carrying the banner.)
“Relay for Life is really important to me because I get to honor the friends that I’ve met throughout my different hospital stays and raise awareness,” said Pinson. Pinson has battled Ewing’s Sarcoma, a malignant tumor found in the bone marrow of the pelvis and long bones.
“Fighting cancer has brought me closer to my family,” Pinson said. “I’ve made a lot of good friendships with doctors and nurses and people who also had cancer.”
Pinson was first diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma in May 2004. April 19 will mark the six-year anniversary of her bone marrow transplant that concluded her treatment.
Pinson says her journey with cancer has taught her to always stay positive and has led her to pursue a career in the medical field.
By Janelle Mills, senior