|(L-R) Eddie, Alejandra, Ryan, Anthony, Arianna, and Kevin|
Last weekend a group of past and present GSBA Scholars joined together to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life in Cal Anderson Park. Relay For Life events take place across the globe to honor cancer survivors, raise awareness about reducing the risks that cause cancer, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease. Lead by former GSBA Scholar and current GSBA Board Member, Ryan Digges, the team raised over $800 in support of this great cause.
A personal cause to current scholar Alejandra Silva Hernandez, she jumped at the chance to participate. Here she shares her point of view on the significance of Relay For Life:
The moment Ryan Digges first asked whether people were interested in participating in the American Cancer Society’s inaugural Relay for Life at Capitol Hill, I knew I had to be a part of the movement. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to reunite with Ryan, Eddie, Anthony, and Kevin, and I finally met Arianna! But more than that, I felt so deeply touched that the Greater Seattle Business Association would support a cause that is making a difference in my family. My mom has been battling this terrifying disease and she is a warrior just like the Survivors I met at the Relay.
About two to three hours into the Relay, I realized I had no idea what I was in for. I hadn’t had my coffee, it was a hot day and I was wearing pants. To be frank, I was a little embarrassed to be winded even though we were taking turns walking. But I kept going because I saw a Survivor walk past me and past Anthony, and Arianna and yes, even Ryan and Eddie. I was amazed, she continued to walk, nonstop. Finally, I went up to her and asked her if she had anyone to take turns with and she said no, that she was there as a Survivor, walking for herself.
I was amazed. There she was, walking those same steps that I took, under the same heat, but she kept going, nonstop. Cancer taught her that. At that moment all I wished for was a world where people like her and my mom didn’t have to advocate for themselves, where they didn’t have to be strong around-the-clock, and a time when they could devote themselves to being relaxed and without burden.
After Saturday’s Relay, I realized that this movement is making my wish a reality one additional birthday at a time. The Relay funds research, provides education and offers support to people like that remarkable Survivor and my resilient mom. That’s why it is so important to fundraise for the Relay for Life.
I can’t thank Ryan enough for putting such a wonderful team together and pulling through so strikingly in just over a week’s time. I look forward to next year’s participation. Ready with coffee, weather-appropriate clothing and more GSBA scholars!