Founder of Yale Relay still fighting back through fundraising

Caroline Edsall

Caroline Edsall is the team captain of the Yale Law School Relay For Life team (YLS) and the top fundraiser for Yale, with more than $12,600 in the bank! She was the founder of the Relay For Life of Yale University in 2005 and has passed on the tradition to the leaders of the school, as well as the spirit of Relay.

"Sadly, it seems that every year I have a new reason to Relay. When I was a sophomore in college, both a high school friend and my step-grandmother were diagnosed with cancer. About a year later, my uncle found out that he had kidney cancer. A couple of years after that, a fellow Relay organizer lost a long fight. And on October 2, 2009, my grandmother, my Gammy, passed away from the disease. I Relay in memory and honor of these friends and family, who have meant more to me than words can say and who have fought so hard in the face of one of life’s greatest challenges. I also Relay so that one of these years I won’t have new reasons to Relay anymore."

Caroline says she has found strength, comfort, and inspiration in those who Relay with her: her best friend, who participated in the Boston College event and inspired Caroline to do the same at Yale; the Yale students who pour their hearts and souls into making the event what it is year after year; and her family, without whom she could not Relay.

"My mom tells everyone she knows about the event and fundraises tirelessly, and my grandfather not only gives generously year after year, but also attends the events regularly. So even my individual participation in the Relay is a team effort. And that’s the way it should be. No one should have to go through any of this alone," says Caroline.

About the time cancer first appeared in her life, early in college with the diagnoses of close friends and family, Caroline decided not to pursue a medical career. "Often the assumption is that doctors and scientists are the ones who will beat cancer in the end. However, we all have the ability to help find cures and, every year, leading up to the Relay and circling the track that night, I know that I am doing my part."