Sarah Columbus, a student in the concurrent Bachelor of Education program, knows too well the devastating effect that cancer has on Canadians. She felt compelled to become involved in UWindsor’s Relay for Life because she’s about to celebrate being 16 years cancer-free.
At five years of age, Columbus was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and after experiencing symptoms of pain in her right ankle that made it unbearable to walk, she had surgery to insert a Port-A-Cath in order to receive 25 months of chemotherapy. She lost all her hair due to the chemo, endured many finger pokes, leg needles, lumbar punctures, and bone marrow biopsies to name a few.
In May 2005, at seven years old, she finished her last chemotherapy treatment. She feels very fortunate today never to have had a reoccurrence.
Relay for Life is a party with a purpose that brings the University of Windsor community closer together and empowers students to be leaders in the fight against cancer, says staff advisor Cindy Crump, director of the Student Success and Leadership Centre.
“Every step we take helps fund promising cancer research, local support services, and other important work that helps people right here in Windsor,” Crump says.
The student organizers have raised more than $25,000 in support of the Relay for Life event, which will run through 12 hours overnight starting at 7 p.m. Friday, March 21.
Crump anticipates the event may become the largest student fundraiser in UWindsor’s history in only its first year. To contribute, go to the website relayforlife.ca/uwindsor and click “donate.”