Courtesy Benton Smith
From an early age, Jordan Saenz had to watch as his family struggled with cancer. He saw cancer test his brother, grandparents and his aunt until he had seen enough. Now Saenz is resolved to fight back.
“This year alone my grandma passed away two weeks ago from cancer so it’s like that is my main goal, just to raise money so that no one else has to go through what they went through,” Saenz said.
Saenz has now teamed up with the student organization Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) and their president Reiley O’Brien. Together they hope to raise funds for cancer research while also raising awareness about the risks of cancer.
“I think that people overlook it (cancer) because they are so young they don’t realize the age span that cancer affects” O’Brien said.
Colleges Against Cancer is a nation wide effort with a chapter at Boise State.
Open to all students, CAC hopes to raise funds for cancer research and for the programs they run throughout the community such as shuttling patients to chemo treatments and finding wigs for those who have lost their hair.
To accomplish this goal CAC will be hosting a Relay For Life which is an overnight fundraising event. Colleges Against Cancer will be holding theirs at the Rec Center April 20 from 6p.m. to 8a.m..
“The point of an overnight event is the fact that cancer never sleeps and neither are we,” O’Brien said.
The Relay For Life will provide food for the night and will feature guest speakers who will lecture on the dangers of cancer as well as steps that students can take to minimize their chances of getting cancer. The Relay For Life’s main goal is to raise money, but more then that it helps a community come together as one in order to actualize its motto of celebrate, remember and fight back.
“Celebrate those that have won their battle with cancer, fight back against the disease by helping people that currently have cancer, and remembering those that have lost their lives to cancer.” O’Brien explained.
The event starts with a survivors ceremony with an honorary lap for those who have survived cancer. Then there is a luminaria ceremony to remember those that have been lost to cancer. The event ends with participants taking a pledge to stay cognizant of ways they can help in the fight against cancer while back home in their own communities.
Relay For Life is an all volunteer effort. Those wishing to assist with the event or to join Colleges Against Cancer can visit www.boisestaterelay.com. Registration cost $10 per participant and after registering, members can attend weekly meetings Friday nights 4p.m.-6p.m. in the NORCO building room 114. Like Saenz, by signing up students can work to achieve his dream that one day perhaps no one will have to experience the pain cancer brings again.