Although the world is currently focused on beating COVID-19, there is another disease that continues to demand attention.
According to the Canadian Cancer society, nearly 50 per cent of Canadians will develop a form of cancer at some point in their lifetime. On March 6 and 7, Laurier Brantford will be focusing on how cancer has touched the community, and the efforts being made to stop it.
To move Relay for Life online this year, the team had to essentially “start from scratch,” said Emily Xiao, a second year user experience design student and registration executive for Laurier Brantford Relay for Life.
This is something that has never been done before on such a big scale, and teams have had to improvise as they go.
“It was definitely more difficult to recruit people online,” said Xiao.
Due particularly to the online format and fewer ways to contact people, the number of participants is down this year compared to previous years.
“You didn’t have face to face interaction, which made it a lot more difficult,” said Xiao, as it is difficult to ignore someone you are having a conversation with.
Relay for Life’s recruitment team has had to get creative in how they are advertising the event.
A large emphasis has been placed on social media promotion, where a large number of students get their information about events going on at the school. In addition, the recruitment team has been contacting residence dons to encourage first year participation.
“Last year was one of our really successful years,” said Sabrina Barko, fourth year criminology student and co-chair of Laurier Brantford Relay for Life.
Although the team knew this year would be difficult, they still put forth a strong effort to make it as successful as possible.
“We’ve still been really successful in raising money,” said Barko, “it’s not as much as we’ve raised in the past but given circumstances I’m really happy with the outcome of that so far.”
Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Laurier Brantford Relay for Life has adapted well. Instead of a 12-hour night event, this year’s Relay for Life will take place over two days, March 6-7, from 6:00p.m.-8:00p.m. each day.
There is also much to look forward to this year, including classic events such as speeches and games, to door prizes generously donated by small businesses.
Barko saids that it is “really nice to know that we can help them while they’re helping us.”
Considering Laurier Brantford is a relatively small campus, it has a tight-knit community with students coming together to support each other.
“A lot of people have been touched by cancer, whether they broadcast that or not,” said Barko.
Because of this, it is important to show support and help those in our community as much as possible.
To find out more about Laurier Brantford’s Relay for Life, you can visit their instagram @lbrelayforlife.