The relay involves teams of 10-20, each team must remain on the track for 24hours taking it in shifts between their members. The message of the event is that ‘cancer doesn’t sleep’, and that those participating are staying up and fighting with all those affected by the disease. It is hoped that the relay will bring people together, and develop a positive forum within which individuals have the opportunity to express and challenge how they feel about the issues raised.
The event will be held on Devlin Park, opposite the Student Centre. Throughout the 24hrs there will be activities and events onging as well as the running. This is aimed at creating a festival atmosphere which is open for all to participate in. The organisers hope that the event will not only raise money for the Irish Cancer society, but also raise awareness about the society and the issue of cancer amongst the student body. To support this, at midday on the 29th there will be a mission hour where the activities will be focused on educating attendees about cancer prevention, and how to test for signs of the disease.
The 24 hours will open with a survivor’s lap, where those who have fought or are still fighting cancer do a ceremonial lap. At 7.45pm there will also be the candle of hope ceremony in which those who have lost their lives to cancer are remembered.
The Irish cancer society has three main branches of work; care and support for patients and their families, research, and raising awareness about cancer and issues surrounding it. The event is set to build on the existing relationship between UCD and the Irish Cancer Society. In December last year Professor William Watson of UCD was awarded a major grant for his work with the society as a prostate cancer researcher. In addition, funding has been provided by the society towards research at the Conway institute on campus.
For more information on the Irish cancer society or Relay for life UCD visit https://www.facebook.com/relayforlifeucd, there is still an opportunity to sign up a team.