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UNB hosts Relay for Life

UNB student Jenny Thistle remembers UNB’s first Relay for Life with pride.

“The event had just begun; over a hundred participants were on their campsites and the track. I took a step back from the running around and took it all in. We had raised $32,000, and after all the hard work and dedication, we finally made it. My committee member put his arm on my shoulder and said ‘Jenny, you did this,’ and it was one of the proudest moments of my life,” Thistle said.

Relay For Life will once again take place at UNB. The annual event, founded at UNB by Thistle, will take place on March 28 from 6 p.m. to midnight.

Participants will join the fight against cancer at the Lady Beaverbrook gym, where there will be a survivor’s ceremony, a luminary ceremony, games, food and live music.

“The luminary ceremony is an intimate and moving ceremony, that happens about half way through the evening. The lights are dimmed and the candles inside the luminaries are lit. We have a moment of silence to remember and honour all of those touched by cancer,” said Thistle.

Thistle was inspired to get involved with Relay for Life because of her mom died of cancer.

“When I was 15, my mom was diagnosed with stage three colorectal cancer. And I began to participate in my community relay as a team member to honour her. She passed away from the disease the week I graduated from high school, so when I came to UNB I knew that I had to continue the fight,” she said.

Thistle went on to organize the very first Relay for Life event at UNB.

The funds raised at UNB’s Relay for Life will help many different people.

“For every dollar, 65 cents go towards the mission of the Canadian Cancer Society, 31 cents goes towards fundraising, and 4 cents goes towards administrations. Of that 65 cents, 37 goes to prevention services and programs, 23 goes to research and 5 goes towards advocacy,” said Thistle.

Participants have a $10 registration fee, but there is no minimum donation. Thistle and the rest of the organizational committee encourage participants to set fundraising goals, work hard and achieve those objectives.

Thistle and the rest of the organizational team have already reached their initial goal of having 20 registered teams. She said that any bit of money fundraised will make the event successful, but if every team could raise $1,000 each, it would be a great contribution.

Participants who also wish to volunteer at the event can contact Thistle by email at jenny.thistle@unb.ca.

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