On March 2, FIU kicked off fundraising in Miami-Dade County for Relay for Life – a national fundraising event benefiting American Cancer Society programs, including patient services, cancer research and prevention studies.
Since the university first started supporting the philanthropic cause 15 years ago, FIU Relay for Life has enjoyed the outpouring support for FIU students, staff and community members. This year was no exception. FIU Relay for Life raised $76,792.94—surpassing its $75,000 goal.
Organized by a student committee and the Center for Leadership and Service, FIU Relay for Life 2018 was a unique celebration of life and hope. During the overnight event, survivors, caregivers and participants took turns walking around the relay track—the traffic loop in front of the Ryder Business Building—until the early hours of the morning. The ongoing walk symbolized supporters’ commitment to fight cancer around the clock until a cure for the disease is found.
As the event’s theme Up, Up, and Relay suggested, the event was an uplifting celebration of everyday heroes. From photos with superheroines to a dunk station and even a puppy kissing booth, 58 teams joined forces to create exciting fundraising activities.
During the memorable event, participants also had the opportunity to make a difference by donating a minimum of eight inches of hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, a program in partnership with the American Cancer Society which distributes free, real-hair wigs to women affected by cancer. Additionally, men shaved their heads in solidarity to cancer patients and survivors during the event’s shave-a-thon. In total, more than 100 individuals joined the generous cause.
The night continued with the Luminaria Ceremony dedicated to Jenny Cordero, an FIU alumna who served as the 2014 FIU Relay for Life Executive Director. Cordero was diagnosed with thymoma, a rare cancer of the thymus gland, when she was 13 years old and passed away in 2017. Participants honored Cordero with a silent lap, surrounded by hundreds of glowing Luminarias around the track dedicated to cancer survivors as well as loved ones lost.