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BSN2 students walk in honor

On Friday, April 18, a group of Eastern nursing students joined the crowd of people walking around Villanova’s outdoor track in honor of those affected by cancer. BSN2 students, along with friends and family, came together as a group of about 20 individuals and participated in the annual Relay for Life event held at Villanova.

BSN2 student Kerry Firscher served as team captain for their Relay for Life group, attending meetings and coordinating details. Firscher is a part of Cohort 2 of the BSN2 department who decided to participate in a community service project before the end of the semester.

“We thought this was going to be a good opportunity to get us out there,” Firscher said. “It’s kind of a good team-bonding thing.”

The participants were not judged by the distance or amount of time they walked on the track. “Just as long as you’re walking and making the effort,” Firscher said. At least one representative from the team was supposed to be on the track at all times.

BSN2 student Rose Morrison said, “[The walk] was a challenge. I took it as a workout.”

The individuals on the team received donations from sponsors, and they collected over $2,000 altogether in benefit of the American Cancer Society.

Angela Gordon, another BSN2 student, thought the event was especially meaningful because of the effect that cancer has on so many lives.

“We came together as a class to support something we’re all going to be touched by as nurses,” Gordon said.

The team was walking specifically in honor of a nursing professor who was recently diagnosed with cancer, as well as nursing professor Beth Chiatti who is a breast cancer survivor.

“When they told me that they were walking in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life in honor of me and another faculty member, I was so humbled by their kindness and thoughtfulness,” Chiatti said in an email. “It is uplifting to see the expression of love and compassion shown by our students.”

When the sky darkened on Saturday evening, luminaires were lit and placed around the track. Each luminaire was dedicated to individuals who have died from, survived or are battling cancer.

“The lighting of the candle was really spiritual,” Morrison said. “I found myself praying during that quiet time.”

The event continued overnight, ending at 9 a.m. on Saturday.

Cecelia Watts, BSN2 student, found the entire experience memorable.

“I thought it was good to come out and fellowship with our classmates outside of class,” Watts said. “It was touching to be a part of such a cause. [Cancer has] touched, I think, everyone at some point in their life. I would definitely do it again.”

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