The opening lap of DCU Relay for life was completed by four survivors, followed by 11 teams as DCU Cancer Society set out to raise a target of €2,000 for the Irish Cancer Society.
Relay for Life is a 24 hour team event, where one member of each team is on the track at all times. The slogan is to ‘celebrate, remember and fight back’ as one in three people fight cancer.
Sinéad Reilly of DCU Cancer Society said “Relay celebrates survivors, remembers those we’ve lost and encourages us to fight on to find a cure. This was our yearly goal in one event which involves both students and staff in a unique 24 hour event”.
Despite the cold, 11 teams including societies such as Young Fine Gael, Enactus, MPS and Rag, walked the track all day and night in high spirits. “The teams were committed in raising as much money as they could and remembering those who have survived, those still fighting and those we’ve lost,” said Sinéad.
Jordan Kavanagh who took part in the 24 hour event said “I really enjoyed doing the relay, the morning laps were a lot warmer than the night, but I’m so glad I could be part of it”.
Entertainment was provided for the 24 hours with bands such as Touchwood and the Dublin Gospel Choir, Zumba and a colour run.
A highlight of the 24 hours was the candle of hope ceremony, which was the remembrance element of the event. “It was an emotional time for those remembering lost friends and family members, as well as for the survivors reflecting on their own experiences. The Dublin Gospel Choir gave an amazing performance making the ceremony so special and significant,” said Sinéad.
“The fact that there were always people walking throughout the 24hrs highlights how many of us have been affected by the disease and the strength that lies within us to find a cure and finally beat cancer,” said Sinéad.
“1 in 3 people are diagnosed with cancer in Ireland. A patient lives with cancer and the pain that comes with it 24/7, so to test ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally for 24 hours is minimal compared to what others go through.”
The event received much attention with Enda Kenny tweeting his support to the society. Support was also given by the CEO of the Irish Cancer society, John Mc Cormack, Ardal O’Hanlan, Chris O’Dowd and Neil Delamare, which helped raise awareness about the cause.
DCU Cancer Society which is in its first year, have already raised over €3500 for Irish Cancer Society. Throughout the year they’ve planned events such as ‘The Bros of Tralee’ and ‘Shave or Die’ which were hugely successful events.
by Catherine Devine