Around 400 St. Thomas students gathered in the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex Friday for the annual Relay for Life.
This year, the event featured Relay for Life founder Gordy Klatt as its keynote speaker. Klatt graduated from St. Thomas in 1964 and went on to get a medical degree from the University of Minnesota.
Junior Katie Tubbs, St. Thomas’ Relay for Life president, was honored to have Klatt speak on campus.
“It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be with such an inspirational figure and to hear from somebody who’s made such a great contribution to cancer research,” Tubbs said.
The students walked and ran for almost 12 hours to raise money for the American Cancer Society to do research.
For junior Neil Egar, Relay for Life has a special place in his heart. He battled osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, when he was 14.
“Especially when I see classmates … all gathered together to fight this thing that I have such a personal investment in and knowing that they also have that personal investment,” Egar said.
Tubbs said that in keeping with the event’s birthday theme, she hopes Relay for Life will be a sign of hope that more survivors will be able to experience more birthdays in the future.
“After two of my grandparents have passed away, I decided that this is a cause that I really am passionate about and that I want to get involved in and really channel my experience into something positive,” Tubbs said.
Baihly Warfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.