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UAlbany Students Fight Cancer Through Relay For Life

March 18, 2010



Check presentation

From left, Alex Baron of the American Cancer Society, Nicole Place, president of SAAC, and Vice President for Athletic Administration/Director of Athletics Lee McElroy receive a $7,500 check from a Newman's Own Foundation representative to support the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life at UAlbany. (Photo Brian Jenkins/America East Conference)

When Nicole Place walks in the Relay For Life this weekend in the SEFCU Arena, it will be with the memory of her two grandmothers who lost their battles with cancer.

Place, a senior accounting major from Conesus, N.Y., is president of Students of Albany Against Cancer, which is organizing the March 20-21 event. More than 1,600 volunteers are expected at the University at Albany's Relay. It is one of the largest among Capital Region colleges and universities.

This massive event, in which students, faculty and staff camp out overnight and walk through the night to raise money for the American Cancer Society, is organized by 70 students who have been working since May 2009 to make it a success. This year's fund-raising goal is $125,000, said Place.

"Cancer is predicted to become the No. 1 cause of death worldwide in 2010, surpassing heart disease. For me, I lost both of my grandmothers in 2003, leukemia and colon cancer," said Place. "It made me do what I do."

She credits the American Cancer Society with advances in early detection. "Last March, my step-grandfather was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and it was caught early enough that he just needed surgery to remove the tumor. He has been cancer-free for one year now."

Part of the Relay For Life is the Survivors' Walk, when those who have beat cancer light candles and pass them from one survivor to the next. This moving walk around the track brings the UAlbany community together in a way that links students, families, and friends.

Students of Albany Against Cancer was recently awarded a $7,500 grant from Newman's Own Foundation as a result of the Campus Philanthropic Partnership Challenge. The funds support the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life at UAlbany. The check was presented during the America East Conference Basketball Championship March 6.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. 



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Ben Spear '10
UAlbany Students

"The Honors College has been a great experience because of the ability to get together with a small group of people with a common goal of success."

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