The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Softball team prepares for third annual Relay for Life

The young woman stood up and called for her family’s attention. The family listened intently, eager to see why she had called them together.

“I have breast cancer,” said cancer survivor Michele Young.

The mother started tearing up. Her older brother and younger sister rushed to comfort her. The father stared at his food, still processing the magnitude of the announcement.

Six years and a lifetime of chemotherapy later, the young woman’s family now called for her attention with cheers as she walked around the track at Armfield Athletic Center.

“My family and I knew how fortunate we were to be able to afford my treatment,” said Young. “So we participated in the Relay for Life at Guilford College, to help others that might not be as lucky.”

Organized by Guilford’s softball team, this year’s Relay for Life will be on May 3, from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Armfield Athletic Center.

The softball team has always participated in a “Score for the Cure” game to support the fight against breast cancer, but they wanted to do more.

“I asked the American Cancer Society to see what else we could do, and the first thing they suggested was the Relay for Life,” said head softball coach Dennis Shores.

Young and many other survivors will kick off the event with a commemorative lap walking for those affected by cancer.

Everyone else will then take the field and join the survivors in raising awareness for the American Cancer Society.

“My grandmother passed away two years ago of stage four brain cancer,” said first-year catcher Erin Ogden. “By the time we knew she had cancer, it was too late to operate.”

Ogden said she was told her grandmother would live for four months.

“I feel if I help in these events, I can maybe make a difference in someone’s diagnosis, so that they have a little longer time with their friends and family than my grandmother had,” said Ogden.

The softball team plans to attract at least 500 people and raise over $10,000 this year.

“I participate in the event because I feel it is a great program for the community to understand and take part in supporting a cause for the cure,” said first-year pitcher Rebekah Langston.

Along with the walk, there will be a blend of activities to do at Relay for Life, such as

listen to music from local bands, sing karaoke and play games like water pong.

Shores said that the event, along with supporting cancer research, will try and close the gap between the student body.

“There seems to be a community divide between athletes and others here on campus,” said Shores. “We are trying to bridge that and get something that all students can get involved in.

“The biggest problem we have here is that Guilford is a (challenging) academic school, so students don’t have a lot of free time to mingle and do different things together.”

This is one of the reasons why the time for the event has now changed from last year’s 6 p.m.–1 a.m. to 12:30–6:30 p.m.

Shores said that the earlier time will allow students to attend Relay for Life without having to miss anything in the evening and still support families like Young’s.

“Even if you don’t know anyone with cancer, Relay for Life is still a great place to get together and have some fun,” said Young.

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