By: Emma McDermott & Lorelei Kenny

Last Friday, members of the UPEI community gathered together for the 2017 UPEI Relay For Life. Relay For Life is a national annual fundraising event for the Canadian Cancer Society which has been taking place on Prince Edward Island for sixteen years.

It is a night where islanders come together to celebrate those who have survived cancer and honor those are currently suffering and who fought courageously until the end.

Teams of students and staff fundraised money the weeks leading up to the Relay, and then came out on Relay night to carry their team baton around the UPEI track. For the duration of the six-hour event, teammates took turns walking around the track, symbolizing the ongoing fight against cancer.


When teammates were not walking, they participated in other activities throughout the night. These events included ballroom dancing with Lyndsey Paynter, minute to win it, and dodgeball.


Participants celebrated with Cancer Survivors during the opening ceremonies and Survivor Victory Lap. Together participants and survivors remembered loved ones, while they walked the track lit by luminaries dedicated in honor or in memory of someone. All renewing their commitment to fight back against cancer.  


Fourteen teams (eighty-two participants) registered this year, teams representing the UPEI Chaplaincy Centre, the UPEI Biology Society, UPEI Residence, – UPEI, “Too Inspired to be Tired,” a mixture of the Applied Human Sciences Society and Women’s Field Hockey team, and “IB Walkin’,” a group of grade eleven International Baccalaureate (IB) students from Colonel Gray High School were present.

All participants, along with numerous event day volunteers and committee members, came together to create an amazing event, that raised a grand total of $14, 108; all of which will stay on the island to support islanders on their cancer journeys!

Over 900 islanders are diagnosed with cancer each year and over 300 lose their lives. It is crucial that we as a province continue to confirm our commitment to fight against cancer.

Here are a couple examples of how the funds will be used:


  • $35 helps ease both the financial and emotional burdens faced by a family, each time they travel to attend their child’s life-saving cancer-related appointments.


  • $50 provides transportation for one cancer patient to a life-saving treatment appointment so that they can focus on getting well, not on how they will get to treatment.
  • $125 will connect one cancer patient or caregiver with a trained volunteer who has “been there,” providing compassion, encouragement and practical support throughout their journey.
  • $300 covers the cost of the cancer cells needed for one research project.


  • $2,000 will enable a young researcher to attend an important conference, present results of their work and make connections with other researchers in their field. Education and knowledge sharing are key components of cancer research.


  • $10,000 allows one cancer patient to participate in a clinical trial to test potentially life-saving new treatments.



A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this night a success and we hope you will join us in 2018!

photo credits: Emma McDermott