[Hammond]- This weekend, Southeastern Louisiana University helped sponsored a Relay For Life annual Cure For Cancer fundraiser. The event was held at Southeastern’s home football game against Texas State under a tent at friendship circle. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and hundreds of thousands of women are using these events as a rallying cry to raise awareness for cancer research.
Wendy Morino a graduate nursing student of Southeastern, is no stranger when it comes to cancer. When she was 18, she got the heartbreaking news: she was diagnosed with melanoma, a common form of skin cancer.
“Denial was the first word that came to mind. I mean, I was an 18 year old girl. You never think things like that will happen to you. Then when it does, it’s just hard to believe.”
Morino underwent several treatments, and after two years got news that would change her life forever: she was cancer free.
“It was a hard process to go through,” she said. “I really don’t know what I would have done without my family or friends, and especially my husband. He is a doctor, so at times he was there for me as a doctor, and then there were times where I just needed him to be there for me as a husband. Regardless of the type of cancer you have it’s so important to raise awareness for cancer especially in young people. I mean look at me. I’m living proof it could happen to anyone.”
Southeastern student Ric Herrara helped volunteer for the event. “Everyone should help pitch in,” he says. “I’m helping make plate lunches. Pulled pork or fried fish with french fries or coleslaw and dessert.”
Relay for Life worker Katie Baron says the events aren’t just about the money. She says, “It’s not just about how much money we raise…it’s about what the money is going towards. People have no idea that even the smallest donation could mean so much. With every dollar that we raise, we are that much closer to getting the resources we need to help fight these diseases.”
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to increasing awareness of breast cancer issues, especially the importance of early detection. It works through a nationwide education campaign aimed at the general public, state and federal governments, health care professionals, employers and women of all ages and ethnic groups.