OCS sophomore Michael Marker started a new club on campus this year to fight cancer. Partnering with the American Cancer Society, he launched a “Relay for Life” club which raised over $14,000 in its inaugural event on campus in May, exceeding the desired goal of $10,000. The ACS oversees nationwide Relay for Life events which have raised nearly $5 billion in the last 30 years.
Participants in the OCS relay were supported by donors as they completed laps walking or running around a track to raise funds for cancer research and critical services for people facing cancer. Beside the student involvement, there was an Oaks Lions Parent team and an Oaks Faculty team.
Marker’s cousin died of ovarian cancer three years ago, and he was impacted by the loss his family suffered. He decided to help others going through the same pain and grief.
He presented his idea to High School Principal Kirk Miyashiro who was immediately on board. Marker recruited fellow student Jackie Bruder, who also had a family member with a cancer diagnosis, as the club vice-president. Together they planned for six months to get volunteers and coordinate the event’s logistics. They had a solid turnout of support.
"I am thrilled with the success of our first Relay for Life! The most gratifying part was that our club members came together with great leadership to create an amazing day,” Marker said. “We exceeded all our goals and raised cancer awareness. If our event touched the life of one cancer patient, then it was a huge success.”
One of the highlights was when OCS parent, Rebecca Rossi spoke about her experience as a two-time breast cancer survivor and how her treatment the second time was far superior because of the advancements made with various treatments and technology. She credited the American Cancer Society and the funds that people like the OCS community have raised.
Besides organizing the actual event, Marker and Bruder also brought Chick-fil-A on campus and asked OCS parent and guitar player Jimmy Earl from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” to perform. The high school choir, dance team and jazz band also entertained.