Once a year, the Saint Anselm community joins together for a night of reflection, celebration, and determination to raise awareness for a disease that had claimed so many lives. Relay for Life is not only a fundraising event for a cure to cancer but a chance for communities to join together and give positive change and support to those who need it. By forming a team and pledging to have at least one member walk around a track for one night at all times, participants get to envision what life is like for a patient who is not allowed to stop their battle with cancer. Ginny Lauzon, a member of the class of 2019, has her own reason to walk the track on Friday, April 13th.
Ginny is from North Andover, Massachusetts and is currently studying biology with a pre-vet path, here at Saint Anselm College. In the past, Ginny has participated in multiple Relay for Life events at Saint Anselm, typically walking for friends and other members of her community, but this year will be different. Two months ago, her grandmother, with whom she shares the same name, was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent major surgery to begin her battle. It was the first time that cancer has hit close to home for Ginny and it has inspired her to start her own relay team after her grandmother, called “Nana’s Fighters.”
Since her grandmother’s initial diagnosis, Ginny says Nana has received numerous flowers and cards filled with well-wishes. Members of her town and church have all reached out to show her how loved and supported she is, and Ginny herself has seen the outpouring of support through her own friends and fellow Anselmians who all pledged to walk with her in honor of her grandmother.
Ginny’s grandmother helps to remind a community that cancer is not something that can slow her down. Her willpower and determination are unlike anyone else’s. Ginny went to see her grandmother after the surgery and walked in to see her grandmother baking Easter cookies. Despite her diagnosis, the original Virginia Lauzon continues to continue her routine as much as she can.
Nana’s Fighters currently has 16 team members and has raised over $1,500 in support of Relay for Life. Ginny has a message for the community, “Even if you’re not walking for someone you personally know or love, I think there is power in numbers—and not just the power of a dollar sign or how much money you’ve raised, but power in people walking for someone they know. Raising awareness and coming together can be just as important.”
Photo courtesy of Ginny Lauzon.