FSU's Relay For Life Raises Nearly $32,000 to Fight Against Cancer PDF Print E-mail
Wellness - Wellness
Written by FSU News and Media Services   
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 16:15

FSU Relay2015Cold weather wasn’t going to bring down the nearly 600 participants unified to help conquer cancer at Frostburg State University’s Relay For Life.

Photo: Nearly 600 participants join the first lap of Frostburg State University’s Relay For Life. Nearly $32,000 has been raised so far, with a stretch goal of $60,000 by the end of August.

This year’s fundraising event for the American Cancer Society held Friday night to Saturday morning, April 24 and 25, raised $31,995 to date, featuring 43 teams and 588 participants.

“Relay For Life is really a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society, but it’s also about celebrating our survivors, remembering those that we lost and fighting back,” said Patrick O’Brien, director of Civic Engagement at Frostburg. “The fighting back is really where the fundraising comes in.”

Friends and classmates rallied behind 19-year-old Jeff Heath, of Frederick, who survived a fight against synovial sarcoma. The cancer, which attacked connective tissue in his neck, caused the sophomore geography major to miss the entire senior year of high school after he was diagnosed Aug. 24, 2012. He finished treatment March 2013.

“Just seeing everybody out here come together to support me and everybody else who’s going through the same struggle – it’s just awesome,” Heath said. “I’m pretty grateful to be here.”

Heath was among six survivors who kicked off the event with a lap around Bobcat Stadium before cancer caregivers and hundreds more joined them, creating a touching showing of support en masse.

As temperatures dipped into the 30s, teams continued to walk around the track to unite in their fight against cancer until 6 a.m. Saturday. Some teams took advantage of the chilly weather to fundraise. The What’s Up Docs team sold hot chocolate to warm up walkers and to boost their fundraising totals. The team is made up of FSU’s Pre-Professional Medical Society, and it should be no surprise the group is active with Relay.

“It just comes with the profession, caring about people and certainly being involved in the community, especially in terms of healthcare,” said team captain Diana Groff of Jefferson, a junior biology major.

Top fundraising teams included Miracle Angels at $3,605, AST Gamma Zeta at $3,394 and FSU Staff and Faculty at $2,945. The FSU Greek Community combined to raise more than $11,000. Top individual fundraisers include Kelsi Folch at $1,135, Sarah Sterling at $1,130 and Daniel Rascovar at $680.

“Over 15 years, I’ve only missed one Relay, and during that time I’ve seen Frostburg State University do some remarkable things,” FSU President Jonathan Gibralter said as he addressed Relay participants. “You all do just a phenomenal job. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for the time, effort and commitment you put into Relay every single year.”

Donations can be accepted through Aug. 31 for the University’s $60,000 stretch goal. To give, visit www.relayforlife.org/fsumd, or take donations to the Braddock House, 20 Braddock Road, in Frostburg. For more information, contact the FSU Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement at 301-687-4210.

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