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September 21, 2023

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Students join the Relay for Life Cancer walk for family, friends

Relay for Life

The Relay for Life Cancer walk was hosted Saturday night in the Perry Field House.

Henry Weinert said he joined his daughter on the walk to a new journey to voice his story.

“When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I felt scared and hopeless,” he said. “You have all these questions but as they are answered, you get a little less afraid.”

Some of the participants joined because they were survivors or cancer patients, but others such as Ashley Hulthaus, one of the overseers, said she joined because it hits home for her.

“This is something I’m passionate about,” she said. “My family has had its fair share of cancer as well as a friend of mine.”

As some participants said cancer was a major part of their family lives, some said cancer was new to their family.

“Cancer doesn’t run in my family at all,” Weinert said. “So this was a shock to my family and my kids took the news pretty hard.”

Relay for Life has been an ongoing event for many years. It is an overnight community fundraising walk, which has merchandise, games and activities to

provide entertainment.

“We have a table called the dream team,” said participant Alyssa Przytulski. “We have dream catchers and spa baskets here for giveaway prizes.”

Different raffles were going to take place at the end of the walk for those who came to support.

“Mickey money is the name of the raffles,” Holthaus said. “We give prizes such as iPad, cameras and other goodies for participants who stay overnight.”

The Falcon Warriors were the people who signed up to walk the entire 12 hours, but members weren’t expected to walk the entire time.

“I won’t be walking the entire 12 hours,” Weinert said. “I feel really good today, but it wouldn’t be a good thing to do since I had treatment today.”

While some aren’t able to finish, others said they would finish for them.

“Cancer is a disease that does not sleep,” said Kevin Lewis, a walker. “I will help others finish by continuing to walk for them.”

Lewis said it was an honor to join such an amazing event because, even if he lives cancer-free, it’s still something that has affected his family.

“It feels good to be in the same environment with so many people who are willing to walk for those that they love and for those that they don’t know,” he said.

The fundraising goal was reached and participants were glad to be able to donate and to help patients fight cancer.

“For people who are trying to fight cancer, stay positive,” Weinert said. “A lot of it is your spiritual being; how you feel inside has a lot to do with it.”

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