Relay For Life fundraises for cancer

Cal High club organizes 24 hour relay to raise money for American Cancer Society


Cameron Ho

American Cancer Society president senior Brianna Marbella, left, and American Cancer Society secretary senior Veer Pudupak prepare for Relay for Life on the football track.

The Relay Race for Life is coming to Cal High on Saturday as people from all over the community walk together to raise money and spread awareness of cancer.
The relay will take place on Cal’s track from Saturday morning to Sunday morning to represent how cancer never sleeps, said Cal’s American Cancer Society (ACS) president Brianna Marbella, a senior.
Marbella worked with school administrators to organize the event, which is returning to campus for the first time in more than a dozen years.
“[ACS] wanted to host our own Relay For Life on our track and field so our students and community have an opportunity to come together and support those affected by cancer,” ACS vice president Kiana Camp said.
The relay is especially important to senior Malaq Ali, who said she had cancer when she was little.
“I’m participating because I had childhood cancer and it was a huge part of my life and it helped shape me into who I am, so it is a very important cause,” Ali said.
The relay will help raise money to support cancer patients like Ali. Marbella said students raise at least $100 to participate in the overnight event.
Marbella said preparations started a few weeks ago when participants started making fundraising pages and sharing them with their friends and family asking for donations.
“Most of the fundraising happens in the weeks leading up to the event,” Marbella said.
On the day of the event, students will sell items of their choice and host games to continue raising funds for the ACS.
Funds raised through Relay For Life directly support breakthrough research, 24/7 support for cancer patients, access to lifesaving screenings, and much more, according to
Camp said planning the event started at the beginning of the year. Marbella worked with ACS staff member Andrew Olsen and Cal administrators to put evething together.
Marbella also said there will be many different teachers from Cal supervising the event on different shifts. This includes Kathleen Seabury, Troy Bristol, Kusy Espinoza, Sarah Gipson, Shanin McKavish, and Janice Saiki, among others.
Many students are participating to show their support and bring awareness to cancer, even if they may not have relatives or know people directly affected by it.
“I’m taking part in this event because I want to show my support for those who unfortunately have cancer and wish them the best,” junior Jacob Maier said.
Senior Olivia Suhy is participating in the relay because she understands the severity of cancer-related illnesses and she wants to help raise money to donate to the cause. She’s not alone.
“[I’m participating] because I feel like it’s very beneficial to the community and to be able to show support for both cancer patients and survivors,” junior Samantha Gee said.
Marbella said there will be speakers at the Relay for Life who will be talking about their experiences with cancer.
Though this isn’t the first time Cal has hosted a Relay for Life event, it is the first time that a Cal ACS club will be participating in the event, Marbella said.
“We will be hosting games and doing all sorts of activities throughout the day/night that celebrate cancer survivors and bring light to the battle waged around the clock by those facing cancer,” Camp said.
Staff writer Nidhay Mahavadi contributed to this story.