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Students, faculty join community to fight cancer

| Thursday, March 27, 2014

Relay_GraphicSteph Wulz

This weekend, students, faculty and local community members will fill the Compton Family Ice Arena to fight cancer in the 10th annual Relay for Life.
Andrea Romeros, a junior accounting major, and Erika Wallace, a senior Spanish and pre-professional psychology major, are the student co-chairs for this year’s event, which begins Friday at 6 p.m. and ends Saturday morning.
“Relay for Life is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society to celebrate those who are bravely fighting against cancer, remember those who we have lost and to fight back to end this disease,” Romeros said. “We have a lot of events planned for people of all ages this weekend.
“There will be children’s games throughout the evening, performances by the Glee Club, Harmonia and Alligator Blackbird, and other fun activities such as a penalty box photo-booth and a mobile auction.”
Romeros said 83 teams are currently registered for the event, which she hopes will raise $200,000 for Relay for Life.
“The money goes toward support for caregivers and survivors and toward cancer research,” Romeros said. “Actually, Notre Dame has received 11 American Cancer Society grants totaling over $3 million for cancer research.”
According to a University press release, Notre Dame Relay has raised more than $1 million for the American Cancer Society in the last 10 years.
Each year, Notre Dame Relay selects two honorary chairs of the event from the Notre Dame community. The 2014 chairs are sophomores Patrick and Shannon Deasey, two of a set of triplets from Edina, Minn., the press release stated.
“Both were born with a rare form of cancer, retinoblastoma, and were successfully treated as infants,” the release stated. “At 18, Patrick underwent treatment for a second time, to fight an osteosarcoma of the sinus.
“Today, Patrick, Shannon and their brother Michael, also a student at Notre Dame, are cancer-free.”
Romeros said a luminary ceremony is planned for Friday at 9:30 p.m. to celebrate the co-chairs.
“This event is powerful because we take the time to recognize our two honorary survivor co-chairs, Shannon and Patrick Deasey, and we pledge to do our part to fight against cancer by walking around the ice rink throughout the evening, showing our solidarity with both the survivors and caregivers who have been affected by cancer,” Romeros said.
Romeros, who first became involved with Relay for Life in high school, said working with the organization at Notre Dame is very rewarding.
“[I’m] passionate about Relay for Life because cancer is a disease that, unfortunately, every person has a connection to, and we just want to do our part to join the fight,” she said.
Activities will be held throughout the night at the Compton Family Ice Arena, the release said. Ice-skating, a photo booth, a broomball tournament, balloon twisters and face-painters are open to the public.
In addition, public fundraisers, such as cupcake sales, T-shirt sales and auctions, have been held across campus this week in preparation for the relay, the release said.
Friday, Notre Dame Relay will hold a mobile auction offering items such as framed prints, Blackhawks tickets and restaurant packages.
A full event schedule can be found at relay.nd.edu.

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