Last year’s Relay for Life was cancelled at the last minute – on March 12 as everything was changing because of COVID-19 – and next year’s event will hopefully be a hybrid event.
But this year, organizers have launched a virtual version of the Canadian Cancer Society fundraiser, and many organizers from Richmond have come on board to help raise money for cancer research.
Caris Tin, currently a UBC student but also a Richmond Christian School grad, is one of seven Richmondites helping organize the event.
Tin said her “reason for relay” was having family members struggle with – and some pass away from – cancer. This included her beloved godmother, who got breast cancer and eventually died.
As she watched friends and family struggle with cancer, it started scaring her.
However, the message from the Canadian Cancer Society, “together, we are bigger than cancer” resonated with her and she decided to start volunteering for Relay for Life, an event that takes place across Canada.
“I really believe in that – I believe if we band together, we fundraise, we raise awareness, we raise awareness for preventative issues and measures, it really helps create a community of support where nobody can fear cancer anymore,” Tin said.
Virtual Relay for Life activities being organized by UBC Cancer Association, from fun events like Zumba, sketching, bartending to the more serious side of university applications and budgeting, started Monday and will run until Friday and are open to all ages.
It will culminate in a livestreamed performance on Friday where participants can also honour the memory of a loved one they’ve lost to cancer or stand with someone who is currently struggling with cancer.
All seven Richmond organizers are volunteering their time to raise money for this event, Tin said. There are organizers from all over the Lower Mainland as well, she added.
Participants can up sign this week for $10 to $15 (depending on when they sign up) or they can donate to a specific team or just to the whole university team, Tin explained.
Events range in cost from $3 to $15 – some are free as well – and all money raised goes toward awareness campaigns and research.
The goal is to raise $3 million with Relay for Life across B.C. and the Yukon.
To sign up for Relay for Life events, go to relayforlife.ca/ubc.