Pictured: NYIT students Mirette Mikhail, Sheraine Peart, and Diane Lopez prepare to take one of the first laps of the night.
It may have been raining outside, but that didn’t deter the NYIT community from showing support for people who have been affected by cancer.
On April 27, friends, families, caregivers, and survivors gathered in the Student Activities Center (SAC) on the Long Island campus to participate in the American Cancer Society’s national initiative Relay for Life. The event was led by Marisol Bazile, associate director of student life and involvement, and Christian Lopez, administrative assistant for student life, and coordinated by NYIT students Brianna Bialko, Devin Zacchino, Megan Moore, Colin Wu, Tariq Jamal, Veronica Bravo, Isabella Mujica, and Michelle Shinder. This year marks the tenth anniversary of NYIT’s participation.
“I’ve been the lead representative for Relay for Life at NYIT for three years,” said junior Devin Zacchino. “We relay to honor those who have lost their battle to cancer, support those who are currently fighting, and celebrate those who have won their fight. I relay for my grandfather and my aunt, who have both lost their battle and are both looking over me every day.”
Relay for Life is a fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. At 5:30 p.m., attendees gathered at the SAC to begin their laps. The event lasted until 3 a.m. This year, the participants honored Alice Heron-Burke by walking in what is known as the Silent Lap. Heron-Burke, former director of counseling, lost her battle to cancer last year. Attendees also dedicated luminarias to honor a life touched by cancer; shared stories of survivors, caretakers, or those lost to cancer; and took part activities including tug of war and an obstacle course.
“Cancer affects everyone, and when you attend Relay for life, it really hits home realizing we’re all here for the same reason,” said Zacchino. “Cancer doesn’t sleep, and at Relay, neither do we.”
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