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Students need your help in the fight against cancer

Friday, April 14, 2006

STILLWATER, Oklahoma) — Oklahoma State University walkers go around-the-clock to fight cancer during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. This celebration of life brings numerous groups and individuals concerned about cancer together for a unified effort to fight back. This year’s fundraising goal is $40,000.
Nikki Kerber and Justin Estus are just two great examples of students joining in the fight against cancer. Nikki is the 2006 event chair and got involved last year because she lost her sister to cancer. She simply saw a notice for a meeting and decided to attend. After helping with team recruitment in 2005, she was asked to be the chairman for the 2006 event. “I was just in the right place at the right time,” said Kerber. “Sometimes you just run into those once in a lifetime opportunities. Without Relay For Life, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Justin is a cancer survivor, who participated in an ice cream social before the 2005 event. He had always been involved in the Stillwater community, but had not been involved in the campus event until last year. He just came to participate in the opening lap, but ended up staying all night to help the committee. Because of his enthusiasm, he was asked to chair the 2006 survivor committee. “Justin has been a tremendous inspiration to the entire committee. His dedication and passion have inspired all of us,” said Lauren Hall, American Cancer Society staff partner.
Teams for enthusiastic citizens will gather at Droke Track for an overnight Relay against cancer from 7 p.m. on April 28 until 7 a.m. on April 29.
Relay For Life is a unique fundraising event that allows participants from all walks of life – including patients, medical support staff, corporations, civic organizations, churches, and community volunteers – to join together to fight cancer. Relay For Life reminds us that progress has been made in the fight against cancer and that everyone who participates is making a difference.
Relay For Life opens as cancer survivors (anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer) walk or use a wheelchair to complete the first lap. This is an emotional time that sets the stage of the importance of each participant’s contribution. A festive atmosphere develops around the track. As walkers make new friends and spend time with old ones, the Relay heats up and the camp-out begins. An atmosphere of camaraderie is created with team members entertaining each other:  eating, playing games, and, of course, walking for a great cause.  Highlighting the evening is the luminaria ceremony held after dark to honor cancer survivors and to remember those we have lost.
“Relay For Life is as much an awareness raiser about the progress against cancer as it is a fundraiser,” said Kerber. “Many of the participants have dealt with cancer themselves. Their involvement is proof of the progress that has been made in improving cancer survival rates and the quality of life following cancer treatment.”
“The funds raised will enable us to continue our investment in the fight against cancer through educational programs, research, and services to patients,” said Justin Estus. “Due to the generosity of corporate sponsors like Benchmark Construction and Honda of Stillwater the money raised comes back to our community by directly benefiting all of the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving programs.”

Information about how to form a team or become involved in Relay For Life is available by contacting Kerber at (405)322-5076 or  For more information about cancer, call the American Cancer Society’s 24-hour help-line at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

All cancer survivors and caregivers are invited to walk in the opening lap. This year’s event has 29 teams from different student groups and organizations. The event is still accepting teams. To form a team or donate to the event, visit


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