Second annual Relay for Life kicks off Friday

The second annual Relay for Life fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society happens Friday at Brock.

Brock's second annual Relay for Life fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society happens Friday night.

Katharine De Sousa and Rachel Campbell plan to pull an all-nighter on Friday.

But the concurrent education students won’t be cramming for any big test or penning academic tomes.

They’ll be among more than 140 people walking and running through the night in Brock’s second annual Relay for Life, a 12-hour fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.

De Sousa and Campbell, both of whom are helping to organize the relay, aren’t just doing this out of the goodness of their hearts, though.

“Cancer has affected each of us differently,” said Campbell, whose aunt died recently after living with cancer for 10 years. “Now it’s become personal for me.”

So Campbell, De Sousa and the other students on the organizing committee want to make the event as much about those impacted by cancer as it is about eradicating the disease. They are trying to recruit survivors to lead the first lap and be celebrated by relay participants.

“It’s starting off on a positive note with the hope we can beat this,” De Sousa said.

In addition to raising pledges – so far participants have collected about $1,800 – organizers are selling luminaries to remember those who have succumbed to cancer.

Tables will be set up each day this week in Mackenzie Chown A block from noon to 3 p.m. and in the DeCew cafeteria from 5 to 6 p.m.

Those eager for a new ‘do can sign up to donate their hair for wigs for cancer patients on relay night. So far, two volunteers have opted to give up their locks.

And De Sousa and Campbell have opted to give up a night’s sleep, something neither are overly concerned about.

“I may be tired but there is a reason we’re here – to fight back,” Campbell said. “I have the whole next day to sleep.”

For De Sousa, she’s certain the energy of her fellow participants will keep her going. That and a cause that has touched so many lives.

“What impacted me most is how many people are affected by cancer. It’s more and more and that really bothers me,” she said. “I want to change that.”

To register a team of eight to 10 people to participate in the Relay for Life, which runs from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Saturday, visit the website. Registration costs $10 per person and includes a t-shirt.

Survivors interested in leading the first lap or participants unable to sign up online can contact Campbell at or De Sousa at

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