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iRelay because

In the face of sickness, they persevere. They are often told they may not live to see the next day, much less their child’s next birthday. Some are forced to quit school, and others, their jobs. They fear for their future and take each breath with pride and faith. Some surpass the challenges while others succumb.
But what do we do? Do we simply shed tears of sadness when one close to us dies, and do we look and say, “Thankfully, that’s not me” and continue with our daily lives?
It is important for us to first recognize that all patients fighting cancer share something in common — a desire to become a cancer survivor.
But how can we leverage our privilege and help those in fight?
We can join Relay for Life on Friday, April 13 in the Circle. We can raise money to help find a cure for cancer. Last, but not least, we can recruit our friends and families to support the cause.
If you need convincing, let me tell you why I Relay.
I chose to Relay because of significant encounters with a few survivors and a few fighters, and most importantly, I despise cancer and hope for the day it ends.
There are a few people who come into our lives who help shape us, but of the people who have helped me, one is a cancer survivor and another is someone currently battling cancer. I’ve had some of my best moments with these individuals.  
I began my junior year of high school eager to write for the newspaper so I landed a job working for my hometown newspaper. Coincidentally, I met a lady who had battled with breast cancer for a number of years. I had no clue what Relay for Life was until I met her. But her influence did not stop there. I never really understood the fragility of life until I met this lady.
She was the most caring and compassionate individual I had ever met, and she still is. Always willing to lend a helping hand, I often found her helping those in need rather than drowning in a sad story. The unique thing about this lady was that she never gave up in the face of adversity.
Debra Kelly’s spirit and concern for other people, despite her unfortunate circumstance, and how she continues today to fight for those battling with cancer is why I Relay.  
Secondly, a dear friend of mine from high school, who was in band and Student Council with me, and whom I truly admired as a friend, was stricken with cancer.
But he never gave up. Today, he continues to have the same energy and passion he had for everything he did before his diagnosis.
I Relay because I have faith that my high school friend, Luke Parker, will become a cancer survivor.
There are more reasons, but these are the two I chose to highlight.
While you may not have an encounter like mine, you too should Relay. The real issue at hand is cancer.
So many people that I care for have struggled; some have survived, and, unfortunately, others did not survive.
It is important for us to recognize that through our actions we can help those battling with cancer. Will you do your part this Friday? Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.

Cortez Moss is a senior public policy leadership major from Calhoun City. Follow him on Twitter at @Cortez_Moss.