Why Lauren Relays

“When I was a kid, I remember thinking that cancer was an ugly word. I had only heard it a couple of times, but each time I did I couldn't help but pick up on the hurt and pain behind the word, even when I didn't understand it myself. As I grew older, I heard this word more and more often, hearing many different people discuss how cancer has impacted them and their loved ones - although I never really understood the gravity behind the word until my sister was diagnosed during her senior year of college, and I could do nothing but watch as a bystander while she fought. It was a very difficult moment for me when I felt as if I could do absolutely nothing to help her during this grueling time. Just after my sister's final treatments, we again had to hear this awful word when my dad was diagnosed, and there I was again feeling useless in a world that seemed blinded by the ugliness of cancer. After an almost two year battle, 10 days before I moved into my dorm to start my freshman year at UCLA, my wonderful Dad passed away from cancer, and in that moment I really understood what this word means to so many people. I came to UCLA feeling lost, helpless, and broken - but when I heard about Relay for Life, I felt almost relieved to have found something I could do to help those suffering as a result of this ugly word. Finally, I felt the sense of hope I searched for when I felt so small in the presence of such anguish. I Relay for my cousins, grandpa, sister, and dad - but most of all, for a world free from cancer. ”


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