The Free Press, Mankato, MN

News Ticker

Local News

April 9, 2007

Students organize annual cancer relay

Colleges Against Cancer to hold event Saturday

MANKATO — Jon Sands and Elisabeth Moat know what it’s like to be told someone close to them may die soon — and what it feels like to fight a war against cancer that, to many, may seem unwinnable.

For Sands, it was a succession of people. First his aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She lost her battle. Then his great-aunt with lung cancer. Then his friend with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. They are both cancer free.

For Moat, there was just one person: her mother. In October, she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. After chemotherapy and surgery, she, too is cancer free.

“I was mentally preparing to lose her,” she said. “It was nothing short of a miracle.”

Sand and Moat — along with about a dozen other Minnesota State University students — are launching the third annual Colleges Against Cancer Relay for Life Saturday at MSU’s Myers Field House.

Their personal connection to cancer, they say, drove them to seek out ways they can use their energy to make a difference.

For Sands, this will be his second year taking part in the Colleges Against Cancer relay. It is Moat’s first.

Their relay works like all other relays in small towns and big cities all over the country each year. Organizers recruit teams that then go out and raise pledges. On relay day, teams keep a team member on the relay path at all times.

Paths are typically lined with luminarias, put in place by the survivors of people who have lost their lives to cancer. For many, the relay is an emotional experience that provides a chance for teams and families to meet with each other in a supportive atmosphere.

Sands heads up MSU’s Colleges Against Cancer effort this year. Moat, meanwhile, is being groomed for a leadership role for next year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
AP Video