Celebrate, remember, and fight back are the words 700 Anselmians were inspired by late into the night on Friday, April 13 and the early morning Saturday, April 14 as the college community walked for the 5th annual Sr. Pauline Lucier Relay for Life.
The relay kicked off with a powerful lap led by Grand Marshall and Saint Anselm student Emma Furlone. Furlone, a sophomore nursing major, battled cancer as a child and set the tone for the evening. Forty-one teams of service societies, clubs, sports teams, faculty, and friends continued walking from 6 p.m to 6 a.m.
Throughout the night as the task of staying up longer and walking further, the community rallied together, reminding one another that anyone can be affected by cancer. "Cancer does not discriminate," was mentioned in many speeches.
Student, faculty and staff who are cancer patients, survivors or caretakers spoke about their experiences including junior Kelsey Lee who discussed her current battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Lee was accompanied on stage by her roommate, who she said was her main support and her reason for being able to continue on campus. She talked about the fear and how her life changed drastically so quickly while the Saint Anselm community remained the same. They supported her more than ever, but didn't make her feel different then everyone else. She received a standing ovation.
Participants stayed busy with a dance competition, a competitive round of tug of war, group Zumba, a talent show, and inspiring speeches. Stakes were high as teams competed for miniature Sr. Pauline Lucier statues reminding everyone of the Anselmian who brought Relay to Saint Anselm College and in whose memory they walked.
The community’s fundraising efforts achieved a donation exceeding $45,000 for the American Cancer Society, and donations still being contributed. Associate Dean of Students, Dean Litz said, “Each dollar we raise will do something. Even if it is as small as allowing a family member to stay at a hotel with their loved ones, it is something.”
As the sun rose in the early morning of Saturday, the remaining walkers gathered to hear the final donation announcement and a “thank you” for participating. Finally, every one gathered to take a final lap together.
By Meghan Gill '14 and Kristen MacNeil '12