Photographs by Walden Butay (’14)

On February 21, HBA’s Interact Club gathered at Roosevelt High School to participate in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

At Relay for Life, participants spend a night walking around a track to raise awareness for cancer, and to honor cancer survivors and those who have lost their lives to cancer.

Around fifty HBA Interact students participated this year, each taking different shifts so at least one representative was on the track at any time throughout the night. The purpose of this continuity was to emphasize the message that “cancer never sleeps.”

“I signed up for Relay for Life because I loved the idea of ‘cancer never sleeps’,” said freshman Ty Minatoya. “Plus I know people who have cancer, and I can’t imagine the suffering they’re going through.”

[one_third]The purpose of this continuity was to emphasize the message that “cancer never sleeps.”[/one_third]

It was also an opportunity for students to get a head start on the required 15 hours of volunteer work for the club. “Well, 12 Interact hours are really enticing,” junior Danielle Toda said. “Also I thought it would be fun to meet new people from other schools as well as bond with my friends.”

As students began on their first lap at 7 p.m., they were joined by cancer survivors who were later honored in a candlelight ceremony. HBA students also participated in games with Roosevelt and Mid-Pac’s Interact members.

By the 5:30 a.m. the next morning, each HBA Interact member had walked a total of at least 20 laps. Some determined and high-energy freshmen walked the entire night. Reflecting upon the event, Minatoya said, “I would, without a doubt, go back again because this experience definitely made an impact on me by showing me that if trying to stay awake was a struggle, [imagine what] patients go through every day.”