SANTA CLARA, Calif. - The Santa Clara University women's golf team raised $2,900 for the American Cancer Society through the Relay For Life fundraiser this past weekend in San Jose. The team personally has lost six family members in the past three years to cancer, so this is a very personal issue for them all. Their losses have spurred them all to feel passionately about fighting to end the dreaded disease. This was the first time the Broncos have participated in the event and they hope it's the first of many years to come.
Relay For Life is a 24 hour walk and symbolic of the fact that cancer never sleeps. During the 24 hour stretch, at least one member of the relay team must be on the track at all times. The walk lasted from 6 pm Friday to 6 pm Saturday.
"I lost my parents to cancer in Nov. and Dec. of 2008 and this was a way for me to honor them. I am proud of the team for embracing this challenging opportunity to give back," said head women's golf coach Polly Schulze. "We are already planning for next year's Relay For Life and how we can raise more money."
The team was just as willing as Coach Schulze to do the walk. Read the following testimonials about why it was important to the golfers wanted to do the walk.
"My mom was a survivor of breast cancer for around eight years before being diagnosed with a different type of cancer," said junior Miki Ueoka. "We would always go to our local relay for life and she would walk the survivors lap, so being able to participate in a Relay for Life and also to do so in her memory was really important to me."
"It was really important to do this because of the impact cancer has had on our team," said senior Erin Sullivan. "I lost my grandpa to cancer earlier this year and it was a way for me to remember and honor him. It was also really important for me to support my coach and my teammate Miki Ueoka for the loss of their family members. Relay for Life helped me recognize the pain and struggle associated with the disease. The event highlighted the goal to fight back and acknowledged the importance of community and giving."
"It was a great opportunity for us as a team to participate in Relay for Life and fund raise for this organization this past weekend. Cancer has affected the families on our team and the lives of people close to us, so it meant a lot to our team to be involved in this event. It was a great weekend spent on a good cause and we were proud to represent SCU in doing so," said sophomore Tammy Surtees.
"It was important to me because more than just raising money for the American Cancer Society, it was 24 hours that were completely devoted to them and their lives," junior Lauren Oh. "It wasn't easy to do, because it's not easy to fight cancer. It made me realize how many people have been affected by this awful disease and that someday with all the help and dedication people put in to societies like this, there will be a cure found someday."
"The Relay for Life was important to our team because we have lost so many loved ones to cancer over the years," said senior Jamie Nonaka. "Not only that, but so many people across the nation are fighting cancer themselves or have lost loved ones- this fundraising effort and relay was in dedication to them. It was tough being out there for 24 hours and walking for hours at a time, but that was really nothing compared to what cancer patients endure to fight for their lives. We heard cancer survivors share their amazing stories and read heartfelt dedications to those who lost their fights on the luminary that lined the track. The Relay was a tremendously moving experience, and I hope to participate again next year."
"Doing relay was important for me because I have been connected somehow to numerous people who have been faced with this terrible disease," said sophomore Kelsy O'Brien. "I did this to support my teammates who have families that have been severely impacted with this disease. Recently my roommate's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, so this issue definitely hits close to home. This was not my first relay event, but it probably was the most memorable because I was able to be there the entire 24 hours, I felt really connected and driven. It was amazing to see how much money was raised at Cambrian, and I was truly moved by all the love and support shown on Friday/ Saturday."
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life The American Cancer Society Relay For Life began in Tacoma, Washington in 1985. Dr. Gordy Klatt wanted to boost the income of his local American Cancer Society office and to show support for all of his patients who had battled cancer. He decided to personally raise money through doing something that he enjoyed; running marathons. Dr. Klatt spent a grueling 24 hours rounding the track at Baker Stadium at the University of Puget Sound. He ran for more than 83 miles and his efforts raised $27,000 to fight cancer.
For more information on Relay For Life, please go to www.relayforlife.org.