Angela “Angie” DeSilva and Emily Sweeney share a common bond in shepherding the
“Relay for Life” American Cancer Society fundraiser for cancer research.
experienced the disease's impact on their lives. Two years ago, DeSilva's
boyfriend, Ryan, died from cancer. Sweeney's mother is a cancer
her loss, DeSilva feels she is a better person for the experience. She said her
boyfriend's death changed her life. Her career path became clear: a dual major
(psychology and sociology), she plans on going to grad school to become a
counselor to terminally ill children and their parents.
out of her grief grew a passion for her ACS fundraising, which she says may be
her most enduring tribute to Ryan's positive attitude and resilient spirit.
For Sweeney, going through the fight has made her want to help others. “I thank God that my mom is in remission and I know that she is where she is because of all the people who have raised money for cancer research. So many people will be touched by cancer, if not directly, somehow
“I think the participation of the Union campus speaks for itself,” Sweeney said. “[It] indicates that a lot of the campus community (particularly the students) have been touched by cancer or realize the threat that this disease presents.
“Angie and I are overwhelmed by the support we have received. We have surpassed any goal that we set and are excited and enthusiastic about the upcoming event.”
for Life begins Friday, May 30, at 7 p.m. and ends Saturday, May 31, at 9 a.m. Teams will run or walk the perimeter sidewalks
around the Nott Memorial and Library Field. This will be the College's first “Relay,”
which has been an ACS fundraiser since 1985.
March 12, more than 650 participants and 42 teams were registered. DeSilva
anticipates at least 700 by the day of the event. Participants so far include President
Roger Hull and Dean of Students Fred Alford.
is a $10 registration fee. Teams are comprised of eight to 15 people. During
the 14-hour event, each team will have at least one member walking or running. Each
member is required to raise about $100 in donations.
team members are walking, other activities will be going on, such as an outdoor
movie by West and food tents.
p.m. Friday, a
ceremony will honor those fighting cancer and remember those who fought the
good fight but lost. Students will be invited to speak about their experiences,
including two students who are themselves cancer survivors. For $5, people may
purchase luminaries, which will encircle the Nott, to honor or memorialize a
loved one. The total raised will be announced at the conclusion of the event.