Relay for Life 1

A pair of attendees participate in the Silent Walk portion of Kent State's Relay for Life Saturday, April 27.

Kent State hosted its annual Relay For Life on Saturday.

Seniors and co-presidents of KSU’s Relay For Life, Abigail Lilli, marketing major, and Danielle Brugh, early childhood education major, planned and coordinated this year’s event along with a team of students.

2019 Cancer Facts and Figures

  • There are an estimated 1,762,450 new cancer cases in the US

  • There will be an estimated 606,880 deaths from cancer in the US

  • In adult males 24% will pass from lung and bronchus cancer, 10% will pass from prostate cancer and 9% will pass from colon and rectum cancer

  • In adult females 23% will pass from lung and bronchus cancer, 15% will pass from breast cancer and 8% will pass from colon and rectum cancer

  • Lung and bronchus cancer will take the estimated 142,670 total lives in 2019 making the five-year relative survival rate only 19%

  • The progress against cancer translates into more than 2.6 million fewer cancer deaths from 1991 to 2016, the progress that has been driven by steady declines in death rates for the four most common cancer types – lung, colorectal, breast, and prostate

  • The relative five-year survival rate for all cancers has increased from 49% in 1975 to 69% in 2014.

  • An estimated 11,060 new cancer cases will be diagnosed among children ages 0 to 14 years in the US in 2019.

  • An estimated 1,190 will not survive their fight making Cancer the second leading cause of deaths in children between the ages of 0 and 14.

Starting in May 1985, Relay For Life began with Dr. Gordon “Gordy” Klatt walking and running for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Washington to raise money to help the American Cancer Society.

At Kent State’s Relay, students, alumni and Kent residents worked to accomplish the same thing. In a 12 hour event that started at 11 a.m., teams and individuals fundraised, walked, ran and joined in group activities all in support of helping to fulfill the American Cancer Society’s mission to free the world of cancer.

At the eleventh hour mark, Lilli and Brugh took to the relay stage in the Kent State Fieldhouse to announce the final amount raised and give out awards. 

In total, the group raised $30,000 in the 12-hour time period.

After announcing their total raised for the night, Brugh took the mic to give out awards to the ten endurance walkers who walked the entire 12 hours, the most spirited team, the Spirit of Relay, best team campsite, top individual fundraisers and top team fundraisers.

The Kent State Ambassadors came in third place, Phi Sigma Pi finished in second while Chi Omega came in first. 

Brugh also announced the top individual fundraisers.

Sarah Hales came in third with $500 raised, Melissa Guthrie came in second with $520 raised and Olivia Barnett came in first with $1,000 raised. 

Relay for Life 2

Olivia Barnett, a senior integrated science major and the top individual fundraiser at the 2019 Relay for Life, poses with her award Saturday, April 27.

“I’ve had a lot of family members who have had cancer unfortunately, my grandma was the first one and she pass about ten years ago so that was my main motivation," Barnett said. "Both my mom and my father had cancer and my mom's cancer was super recent, so it really put me into work mode.

Although this might not have been the highest amount that they have raised, the message of the Relay is that every dollar counts. All the money raised goes to the American Cancer Society to help with funding and conducting research, sharing expert information, supporting patients and spreading the word about prevention.

Jessica Goodwin covers charity. Contact her at jgoodw18@kent.edu.

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