By Wendy Sarubbi | April 15, 2013 3:17 pm

Relay LifeDozens of students, faculty and staff from the UCF College of Medicine pulled an all-nighter on April 6-7. But this time it wasn’t for an upcoming exam. They were actually participating in the annual Relay for Life at the Lake Nona High School track to raise money for cancer research.

Relay for Life began at 2p.m. on Saturday and finished the following morning at 8 a.m. Each hour of walking had a different theme — from the pajama hour to the cancer survivors walk. The event had a special focus on cancer survivors, including a survivor dinner that included a musical performance from the College of Medicine’s acapella singing group, which performed “Fix You” by Coldplay. As first-year medical student and musician Michael Metzner, explained, “It’s great to see the power that music has on everyone.”

20130406_153205More than three dozen students, faculty and staff participated in the relay, which supports the American Cancer Society, and has been held in Lake Nona for the past three years. Admissions and Registration Coordinator Wandy Cruz-Velasquez served again as captain of the College of Medicine team. Wandy has a personal motivation for participating in the relay, having lost both her father and father-in-law to cancer. “I feel that by doing this, I’m contributing to something that will possibly find a cure for cancer in the near future,” she said, “And it is personal, because I have been affected by it.”

The College of Medicine’s team raised $2,200, but participants hope to raise more donations before the May 13 deadline to reach their $3,000 goal. Click here to contribute to the UCF College of Medicine’s team.

Michael participated in Relay for Life because he said such events are vital to being part of the medical community. “I think it’s important for students to see the population that is affected by these diseases.” He said. “It’s one thing to learn about an illness in the classroom, but it’s another to actually meet with a patient that has it.”

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