My View

Cancer affects loved ones of victims, not just victims

It was my freshman year, here at RPI, when I first participated in Relay For Life. I had become a member of the committee in September 2011, and it was a blessing to be around members who truly wanted to put an end to cancer. At the time, my great-uncle, Judge Cardona, was fighting one of the worst cancers known to man, and was doing really well.

A month later, my great-uncle was turning for the worse, and I was starting to think he might pass away. I was at a sports banquet for my younger brother when my old golf coach told me that a truly important individual in my life, a man by the name of Mr. Riccardi, had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was devastated. I could not believe that I might lose two very important individuals in my life.

It turned out I would lose both individuals, but the difference in time between their deaths caught me completely off guard. Riccardi passed away on Saturday, December 3, 2011, and my great-uncle passed away on Sunday, December 4, 2011. The emotions were way too much for me to handle. I easily passed a lot of tears; it was too hard for me to deal with the deaths of two very important individuals in my life, let alone on back-to-back days.

This year, in 2013, I will Relay for both individuals, because I know they would want me to do so. I will celebrate the lives of survivors all over the world, remember the struggles these two special individuals went through during their illnesses, and fight back against this disease so stories like mine never happen again for me or for anyone on planet Earth.

We are all affected by cancer in some way, but there is something we can do to help. Please sign up for Relay For Life at, join me on April 26 at the Armory, and help us find a cure. If you sign up online and pay your $10 registration fee and raise at least $100 by April 16, you will be guaranteed an event T-shirt (after this, the registration fee goes up to $20). It is easy to fundraise; on average, every e-mail you send out through your participant center will result in a $3 donation, and every dollar brings us one step closer to a cure.

Thank you, and let’s stop cancer in its tracks!