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Relay for life: fighting cancer, one step at a time
BY KEVIN ENGLE AND SYDNEY HAWKINS
The fight against cancer must be taken step by step. This
is the message that Relay for Life embodies.
On May 3, the second annual Relay for Life brought
together Guilford and members of the Triad community
to walk for a cause at the Guilford's Armfield Athletic
"Relay is a fun event to get the community involved
in supporting the fight against cancer," said senior Katie
Chapman. "Friends and families come together to enjoy the
company of each other, good food and live entertainment,
all while supporting and donating to a great cause."
Relay for Life kicked off with a survivor's lap, a
highlight of the evening, when those who have defeated
cancer walked the first lap of the night. Energy was high
and spirits were even higher.
While it commemorates and honors those who have lost
the battle to cancer. Relay for Life is a celebration of life
and the human will.
"Seeing the emotional impact Relay events have on
survivors, caregivers and family or friends of/those who
have passed is so inspirational and shows how\important
these Relay events are," said senior Autumn Yoder.
Yoder and Chapman are both infielders for the softball
team that organized the event.
For first-year Caitlyn Young, this year's Relay for Life
held particular value. Young, a member of the women's
soccer team, lost her mother to colon cancer in June 2012.
"This event really means a lot to me," said Young. "This
is where I honor my mother and all the people who have
been lost to cancer, those who are fighting it now, and the
caregivers who support them."
Young's relay team raised over $1,000 during the event.
"Although I never knew Caitlin's mother, I felt as if
something like that could happen to anyone, me included,"
said first-year Cassie Vaughn, Young's close friend and
"Relay was the least I could do to help others that have
been affected by such a tragic disease and remember those
lives that were lost."
This emotional occasion provided the last step in the
grieving process, acceptance.
All around, bonds were formed and friends were made.
Empathy and tranquility emanated from every face and
every smile. Relay is a time of remembrance and a time of
One event in particular, the Luminaria Ceremony, was
overwhelming in its power.
Everyone involved received a glow stick and questions
such as, "Flave you lost a loved one to cancer?" are asked.
The people who identify with the questions break their
glow stick. The glow sticks are then put into luminary
bags, which are decorated to commemorate those who
have been lost to or are currently battling the disease.
"Looking out onto the field and seeing all of the bags
surrounding it, it put everything into perspective for me,"
said Vaughn. "I realized exactly how many people are
affected by this disease, whether directly or indirectly."
While these bags represent the hardships and heartbreak
of battling cancer, with a little light and warmth, they turn
into something beautiful.
That is what Relay for Life is about; replacing dark with
light, anger with acceptance, and fear with hope.
And it begins with that first step.
34-year-old NBA player takes leap of faith, comes out
Joe Pearson: Guilford
Football’s rising star
BY RISHAB REVANKAR
Concerns about NBA’s
“One and Done” rule
BY JOHN KLEUPFEL
BY VICTOR LOPEZ
At least 27 athletes from Olympians to Little League players have
publically declared being gay or lesbian in the past few years. Flowever,
none of those have been a part of a major team sport while they were
still playing. Now, that has finally changed.
NBA center Jason Collins has become the first male Lf.S. athlete in a
major professional sport to come out as gay
The 34-year-old free agent who played with the Washington Wizards
and the Boston Celtics tos past season told Sports Illustrated that he
felt compelled to share his story.
"I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying,
'I'm different,"' said Collins. "If I had my way, someone else would
have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my
Collins revealed that he tried living the straight life for a while but
was chasing the wind.
"When I was younger, I dated women," said Collins. "I even got
engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to
marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky
was red, but I always knew it was blue."
Regardless of his reasoning, Collins' move is unprecedented for the
NBA according to David Walters, sports information director, who
recognized this as a historic moment.
"The paucity of players coming out may simply be a reflection of
the lack of gays and lesbians in the sports world," said Walters in an
email interview. "It may also be a reflection of some kind of barrier
that precludes folks from coming out. I don't know how to tell the
difference, especially on such an intensely personal matter."
Senior Daniel Gaskin, a self-described sports enthusiast, said that
while there might be public applause, he is not sure everything was
rainbows and butterflies.
"I can assuredly say that Collins is catching hell in the locker
rooms," said Gaskin. "Who was convinced it would be years before a
professional athlete would ever come out as being gay?"
Even as the Obamas sung praises for the courage it took to come
out, some people like junior Rose McIntyre wondered why the media
frenzy was so male-centric.
"There are several out professional female athletes," said McIntyre.
"But they are not taken into consideration because of male dominance
in the media."
Male dominance aside, community leaders like State Representative
Marcus Brandon, the only openly gay member of the North Carolina
General Assembly, told The Guilfordian he is grateful for Collins'
honesty regarding his personal life.
"I think his courage continues to move the conversation on LGBT
equality and acceptance," said Brandon. "Based on the comments from
his teammates and other sport professionals, there could not be a better
representative to move this conversation forward."
Brandon suggested Collins' move was one of the biggest moments
in the fight for LGBT equality.
While homophobic comments made on blog threads at sites like
The Huffington Post and CNN suggest bigotry is alive in the minds
of some, Parker Ramey, a former Guilford student and graduating
member of a gay fraternity at Ohio State University, senses the tide is
"The changing climate in America has made it more acceptable for
athletes to come out and not fear backlash from both other players and
from fans," said Ramey.
While Collins' story plays out in the court of public opinion, only
time will tell what the true implications of his personal story will have.