Discover the power of research at this weekend’s Relay For Life at CWRU

Students at CWRU Relay For LifeAt Case Western Reserve University, we celebrate research in all forms. This year, Relay For Life will honor it too.

Taking place April 20-21 at Coach Bill Sudeck Track in North Residential Village, Relay For Life is an 18-hour fundraising event for the American Cancer Society. The theme this year is research, recognizing the extensive, multifaceted approaches to studying cancer—from preventing cancer to stopping it in its tracks.

Relay For Life Honorary Chair Mary Step takes a different approach in her research. An assistant professor of family medicine and community health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, she studies the communication between cancer patients and their physicians.

Step will kick off the opening ceremony at 1 p.m. with a talk about the importance of cancer research, including the Cancer Prevention Study-3, a longitudinal epidemiological study of individuals ages 30 to 65 who do not have cancer.

After the opening ceremony, individuals will walk laps around the track for 18 hours. Participants even can take part in “themed laps,” such as Mardi Gras, pajamas and even neon dance party laps. There also will be a “Survivor Lap” for cancer survivors or their virtual representatives and a luminaria ceremony, during which members of the campus community can remember loved ones lost to cancer by dedicating a luminaria bag.

When they’re not walking, participants and supporters alike can take part in competitions and events, including:

April 20

1 p.m.: Opening Ceremony
2-10 p.m.: Team Fundraisers and Tournaments
5:30-7p.m.: Community BBQ
7-8:30 p.m.: Trivia Contest
8:30 p.m. Luminaria Ceremony

April 21

Midnight-3 a.m.: Kickball Tournament
1-3 a.m.: Euchre Tournament
5:30 a.m.: Pancake Breakfast Served by Faculty
6:30 a.m.: Closing Ceremony

In addition, there will be inflatables, Zumba and yoga classes and performances by CWRU student groups throughout the event. Visit the Relay For Life at CWRU website for a full schedule of events.

Already, nearly 60 teams comprising more than 600 participants have signed up to take part, and they’ve raised almost $36,000. The goal this year is to raise $65,000.

“Relay For Life is our chance to turn the tides, to prove that—as students and as a campus—the collective strength and perseverance of our community does not falter in the face of cancer,” said alumni co-chair Nick Welko. “It is an annual celebration of the milestones we’ve reached, miles we’ve walked, and steps taken in our ever-vigorous pursuit to find a cure—a cure that ensures a brighter future for all of those closest to us affected by cancer; a cure that will forever serve as the legacy of the loved ones we’ve lost along the way.”

Interested individuals still can join a team by visiting, or simply come participate in the event.