April 27, 2015
The Rex Lee Run Against Cancer celebrated two decades of fighting cancer with its 20th annual run, themed “Runners Remember,” on March 7, 2015.
This year’s run had an amazing turnout. It doubled in attendance (from 900 to 1800 participants), and the donations to cancer research more than quadrupled. Friends and family gathered to write the names of who they are running for on the wall and to run for their loved ones who are currently fighting cancer or who have in the past.
“[Everyone here] shows the love that they have for the people they are around, even if they are not related,” said Daphne Skordas, a student volunteer. “I’ve seen a ton of people come up to the wall and write names of family and friends.”
Skordas’s grandmother currently battles breast cancer, and being able to contribute to cancer research really meant a lot to her.
“Because cancer hits so close to home for me, I really want to show my support,” Skordas said. “My grandma is so strong and such an inspiration for me that I want to do anything I can to support her.”
The Rex Lee Run was organized in 1996 to honor BYU president Rex Lee who passed away from cancer that year. Today, the run is hosted by the BYU Cancer Awareness Group, a student club that works to increase public awareness about cancer, that offers support to cancer patients and families, and raises money for cancer research. To date, the Rex Lee Run has raised more than $400,000 for cancer research.
Katherine Webb, a runner from Alpine, Utah, said that she was excited to support cancer research.
“I hope that the cancer research center benefits a lot from this,” Webb said. “I’m glad that 100 percent of the efforts of the money go to the research. I’m sure there’s a cure out there; we’re so close and getting closer.”
During the kickoff of the event, Dr. Merrill J. Christensen, director of the center, spoke to the assembled runners and told them to take this time together to remember those who have cancer and support one another going through trying times.
“All of you are here, one way or another, to remember those affected by the disease,” Christensen said. “You are not alone. Look around you.”