Relay for Life, a 24-hour fundraising event for cancer research, will once again take place at UCD. The event is being run in association with the Irish Cancer Society, and will take place on the 14th and 15th of April, starting and finishing at 2pm.

Relay for Life has been held at UCD annually since 2012, and has proved extremely successful. Last year, more than 600 people took part and helped to raise €12,542.83 for the fight against cancer. “This year we’re hoping to raise at least €13,000,” said Danielle Dennehy, chair of this year’s event. “We’re also planning to have a lot of acts and entertainment at the event this year” she said, speaking on the first day of campaigning, during which more than 20 teams signed up.  Primary schools in the area as well as local residents have also been invited to attend.

Relay for Life is a 24-hour event, where fundraisers join together in teams, usually of ten or more people, and for 24 hours, at least one member of each team must be walking around a track. During the relay, each team will have a stand or stall set up around the track where they will be fundraising. Many other events will be held during the 24 hours. The Survivor’s Lap is a special lap at the start of the relay that is walked by cancer survivors. Later in the day, as darkness falls, the Candle of Hope Ceremony will take place, where candles dedicated to someone suffering from or affected by cancer by members of the community will be placed around the track and lit by participants. This year, the event will take place at Devlin Park, opposite the Student Centre.

Relay for life was established in the 1980s by the American Cancer Society. The concept has recently gone global, with events now taking place annually in more than twenty countries, including Canada, Australia, South Africa and Honduras. More than four million people take part every year. There are more than ten Relay for Life events taking place in 2015 all across Ireland, with several in Dublin and others in Cork, Kilkenny, Tipperary and other locations across the country. The first Relay for Life event took place in 1986 at the Stadium Bowl in Washington, and raised $33,000. Since then, an estimated $5 billion has been raised by the organisation. The founder, Dr. Gordon Klatt, passed away last year following a battle with stomach cancer.

-Conor Hallahan