Relay for Life: Panther Edition

Since January, I’ve been quite busy with my coursework, work, home life, friends, and of course, RELAY FOR LIFE! Thus far, everything has been moving smoothly enough. Back at the end of January, the Relay Committee and Alpha Phi Omega joined forces to support a kick-off celebration. It was a ton of fun! We took over Panther Plaza and made it into a real-life Mario Kart obstacle course. Some committee members offered prizes, raffles, free pizza, and much more. We also had guest speakers which included some survivors, which was absolutely great. For those who aren’t familiar with Relay for Life, it is an annual festivity sponsored by the American Cancer Society that helps fund research to find a cure for cancer. I am a former member of my high school’s National Honor Society, who raised a ton of money for Relay every spring. My senior year there, I had ran about 33 miles in 4 hours (I had to take multiple breaks to run a concession stand) and I was more than pleased with the turn out of this event. I am even more than ecstatic to see the American Cancer Society’s efforts grow with me as I advance in my studies.

Participating in Relay for Life brought up some discussions on the advancement of molecular genetics and oncology in my biology lecture hall this past week. It is amazing to see all of these brand new techniques come out at the same rate as all of this ground-breaking technology. Since I am currently premed biology transferring into biomedical engineering, I am very intrigued with how my academics correlate with the actual research these physicians use on a daily basis. Currently, I am taking the basics: biology, chemistry, physics, calculus. Although I have yet to dive into my major with courses like genetic engineering, fluid mechanics or cell biology (not to scare you off, but to name a few; you can preview these in the academic catalog), it is challenging and satisfying to say that I am studying what most graduate students at other institutes are pursuing…and I’m only a undergraduate!

But, to put everything back into perspective, Relay is a lot of fun, it’s a great way to make friends, an amazing way to gain student leadership skills and of course – helping to find a cure against cancer. I’ve lost a lot of loved ones on the way and nothing makes me happier than to see the progress in fighting this battle every year at this celebration. So, if you absolutely enjoy Relay for Life, are interested in becoming a part of it, or have someone you’d like to commemorate, I totally suggest staying up-to-date with my posts. This month, FIT will be having their Relay on March 23rd in the evening through March 24th until late noon. I’ll be bringing along my camera so I can share one the biggest events on campus this spring semester! Stay tuned!

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