Young Survivor Helps Lead Relay For Life at Tufts University
This article was written by Katie Galasso, a junior at Tufts University and a tri-chair of its Relay For Life.
I first got involved in Relay For Life in my freshman year of high school, when my grandpa was diagnosed with colon cancer.
When he passed away the next year, Relay For Life became my cause; a way to fill some of the hole that his passing had left, and a way for me to keep fighting against this terrible disease.
In the second half of my senior year in high school, the unthinkable happened. I was diagnosed with leukemia, a form of blood cancer. For the next two and half years, my life was consumed with doctors’ appointments, treatment, nasty side effects, and everything in between. However, it seemed like everywhere I turned, the American Cancer Society was there. The first Google search I did on Leukemia brought me to the American Cancer Society Web site, cancer.org.
When I bought my first head scarf, it came with an ACS brochure that showed me how to tie it. When chemo left my skin dry, the Look Good . . . Feel Better program taught me how to still apply makeup. ACS was with me every step of the way, from diagnosis to my remission two years ago this May.
Now that I am healthy, I want to do everything I can to support its work. I now walk in Relay for so many people: my grandfather, my nana, my great-aunt and great-uncle, my dad, and myself. But to me, the most important people that I walk for are the other young adults I’ve met who have passed away or are still fighting.
I am young and I have my health, and I CAN participate Relay For Life. I walk and raise money for all of the college students and young adults who can’t. I want to be their voice and their feet; walking laps around the track, pledging to fight back against cancer, and knowing that a world with less cancer and more birthdays IS possible. I Relay for them, I Relay for me, I Relay For Life.