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Student organizes Relay for Life walk

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2012 marked World Cancer Day. Many organizations banded together to encourage the public to schedule check-ups, learn about preventative care and help spread the message to others via social media outlets and events.

One in two men and one in three women are diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetime. Approximately 7 million people die from cancer each year. Prevention and early detection are possible with the know-how and proper healthy habits.

Weber State University student and Relay for Life event director Thomas Judd is working to build the WSU Relay for Life team to help bring cancer awareness to campus. Judd and the Community Involvement Center have scheduled a Relay for Life walk in the Swenson Gym for March 31.

“The actual event is going to be up at Swenson Gym from 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., and what it is, is just a giant night of celebrating and having fun and uniting together as a campus,” Judd said. “The goal is to get all of the clubs and organizations and just anyone who is interested to make a team and come out to the event.”

Before the walk, Judd and the other Relay for Life committee members have scheduled some events in hopes to get student participation, raise awareness and possibly get volunteers for the event in March. On Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon, the group will be tabling in Shepherd Union Building with a device that teaches women how to check their breasts for lumps. After that the group will have a team captain and information meeting with games and free pizza. The meeting begins at 1 p.m. in Shepherd Union Building room 404 and is open to any student interested in the walk.

“We’re hoping to have something at least every month just because I’m finally getting the staff support that we needed,” Judd said. “I’m looking to start a Colleges Against Cancer chapter that will have monthly activities going on especially focused on each month. Hopefully, we can work with the other clubs here on campus to help fight against cancer.”

Judd said that the American Cancer Society has created several channels to help a team collect funds to make it easy. Judd said that he alone raised $1,000 in a two-month time span by posting on his Facebook page.

“We have a website where teams have their own event page and team page where we already have written emails for you. You just have to fill in a few email addresses and send them out,” Judd said. “I mean, it can’t get much easier than that. There’s Facebook. There’s an app for your smartphone to do fundraising and to keep track of how much money you’ve collected. We’ve just really made the fundraising process super, super easy.”

Judd said he hopes to gain more student involvement. Currently, the WSU committee is at five members, but Judd said he hopes to get it to about 20 eventually.

“Everyone in the world has been affected by cancer and the sad truth is that one in two men and one in three women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and that’s unacceptable, and I want to see that change,” Judd said. “I think the only way that we can see change happen is with action, and this is the perfect way.”

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