"once you choose hope, anything is possible"

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

my defining experience

As my senior year in college comes and goes all too quickly, it makes me think a lot about what has defined my experience at Marquette and only one thing really comes to mind; Relay For Life. From the first moment I stepped foot on campus, I knew I wanted to reach out to Marquette’s chapter of Colleges Against Cancer. I did this following the footsteps of Alyson, my older sister, who had always been so passionate about Relay For Life, and also following the loss of my high school classmate, Anna. I reached out to Colleges Against Cancer and got involved right away, but I never could have imagined the magnitude in which cancer and Relay For Life would define my next four years.
This year my list added another name and I had to once again say goodbye to someone I love because cancer got involved. This year I once again had to bring out my black funeral dress that I have come to hate pretty passionately and I had to try to find a silver lining in the loss I was experiencing. Though my grandma was old and said numerous times she was ready to pass, it didn't make hearing my mom tell me that she had cancer or sitting through that funeral any easier. This year though, healing came a lot easier, and that is because Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society.
For the past two years I have been on the executive planning committee for Marquette’s Relay For Life, but this year I received the honor of being elected to the North Campus Leadership Team for the American Cancer Society. This means that not only do I get to see all the amazing work that Marquette does for this cause, but I get to see all the amazing work that all colleges, high schools, and communities do in the northern region. I get to hear stories, gather ideas, give advice, and overall be inspired every single day by thousands of students, caregivers, and survivors across the country. To say Relay For Life changed my college experience would be an understatement. I have learned more about myself and about others than I could have ever dreamed to learn, and with that I have seen the need for the American Cancer Society firsthand.
This will be my last year relaying as a student, which also means that this will be the last email you receive from me asking for support for a cause that has become so dear to my heart (I know some of you are cheering right now and I don’t blame you). This year I will be walking as I close one chapter of my life, and open another one. This may be my last year Relaying as a student, but it is certainly not the end of my chapter with the American Cancer Society. This organization has come into my life and changed it forever; it will continue to be a huge source of hope and healing for me and something that I hold near to my heart every day.
The support I have received from my family and friends over the last three years has been overwhelming, amazing, and something I will never be able to thank you enough for. Please consider supporting me one last time in my final Marquette Relay For Life. Whether this support is a contribution to my fundraising page, a prayer for strength, or simply keeping my committee and our event in your thoughts throughout the next couple months, your support is greatly appreciated. Thank you all for supporting me through this journey throughout college and for believing in a world where one day cancer will be a word in our history books.