The Finger Lakes Times featured the Relay for Life event held on campus on Saturday. Featured in the article were Kelly Switzer, assistant to the provost, who is a cancer survivor, as well as her mother (another survivor) and Allison Sperling, ’10 event chair who lost her uncle to cancer a month ago.
“This has kind of been a way for me to fight back and find some good in his passing,” Sperling is quoted.
Sarah Gall, a William Smith junior, was joined at the event by fellow field hockey teammates, according to the article, and is quoted, “[I’m] touched by the event because I think it’s a really good cause, and I think it’s really important we all show our support in the fight against cancer.”
The article follows.
The Finger Lakes Times
Colleges’ Relay for Life event draws hundreds
Amanda Folts • April 11, 2010
GENEVA – Side by side, Hobart and William Smith Colleges staff member Kelly Switzer and her mother walked the survivors’ lap around the Bristol Gym Saturday evening.
A handful of people joined them, walking to the song “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child, which kicked off the Colleges’ third annual Relay for Life. After the first lap, caregivers joined the survivors for a lap, while people stood around the gym clapping for them. Finally, all of the participating teams joined in.
Switzer, assistant to the provost, was diagnosed with liposarcoma cancer in her knee in August 2008 and has been cancer-free since November 2008. She still has some problems with her knee and said it has changed the way she does things.
“I tell everybody I have a new normal now, and I live a lot differently,” she said.
She was joined in the survivors’ lap by her mother, Carol Bunce, who has been cancer-free for eight years. This was both women’s first time participating in a Relay for Life event.
Before the laps started, fellow survivor Theresa Patchen of Seneca Falls spoke to the crowd. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was eight months pregnant and has been cancer-free for nearly two years. She let those present know they were part of the success just by being there. She made the caregivers’ lap with her husband, Tim.
Allison Sperling, a William Smith senior, was the event chair and said 270 people already signed up for the event. More came Saturday night to register.
Cancer has touched Sperling’s life: Her uncle died of the disease about one month ago after a 20-year battle.
“This has kind of been a way for me to fight back and find some good in his passing,” she said.
Among the teams making their way around the track Saturday were representatives of Colleges organizations.
One member was Sarah Gall, a William Smith junior, who was joined by fellow field hockey teammates. She participated in a Relay for Life event two years ago and planned to stay in the Bristol Gym all night. The event was scheduled to end at 6 a.m. Sunday.
“[I’m] touched by the event because I think it’s a really good cause, and I think it’s really important we all show our support in the fight against cancer,” she said.
Also making laps were members of the William Smith basketball team. This was team member and William Smith sophomore Chelsea Tracy’s second Relay for Life event, and she said her grandmother lost her life to lung cancer.
“We wanted to do it as a team to give back to the community,” Tracy said.