by Julia Ann Friedman –
Relay for Life is an annual national event hosted in towns across the United States. The goal of this event is to raise awareness and show support for people with cancer and for people whose friends and families are affected by cancer.
In Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow, the event takes place at the Sleepy Hollow High School (SHHS) track. Rising senior Emma Guarneri said, “I’ve been involved in Relay for Life since it came to our community in 2016. I get excited about it every year because I get to see our whole community come together against something that affects everyone. I’ve lost multiple members of my family to cancer, and being able to remember them and honor them every year is so important to me.” SHHS teacher and Team Captain of a team of SHHS teachers, Edual Collado, commented, “I like to do my part in society and help those in need. You never know in life when you will be the one asking for the same support. Doing events like this makes me feel like a better human being.”
Tarrytown resident and parent of students at SHHS, Sue Geisker shared, “Our family has participated in Relay for Life for the past four years. We walk to honor our deceased friends and family and a close friend who is cancer-free for six years. This year cancer has a significant and direct impact on us. We sought donations because my husband David was recently diagnosed with colon cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.”
Geisker remarked, “Community members come together to laugh, to cry, hug and share memories. We gather to support each other, walk the track and raise money for cancer research/cure. This community event is beautiful and touching. The reality is that everyone knows someone affected by cancer. Relay for Life is analogous to battling cancer by starting in daylight, going into darkness and hopefully emerging into the healing morning light.”
This year, the Relay for Life of the Tarrytowns event raised more than $21,500 for the American Cancer Society. Collado spoke for everyone when he said, “I would like to help find a cure for this disease in my lifetime. Too many people that I love and care for have been affected by cancer.”