The past seven months have been among the most difficult that my family has faced. In the beginning of August, my family lost one of the most important people in our lives to cancer. Someone who meant so much to us, suddenly taken from the world in a matter of days.

I had been studying and traveling abroad having the summer of my life, my family at home enjoying their summer days on the beach with friends, when everything changed. We never would have expected what was to come. My uncle was a man who rarely ever went to the doctor. Maybe had he have gone sooner, things would have been different. But he didn’t, and he was sick, and by the time he got help, it was too late. The doctors told us that he must have been sick for a while, maybe even years. And we never even knew. How could we not know he was dying of cancer?

When he passed, I was lost. In fact, I still am. I was lost because I couldn’t understand how cancer could hit so hard. So unexpectedly. And take away a person I loved so much. My life will never be the same. And what, to this day, I can’t get over, is the fact that cancer hits people like this daily. The pain I felt, the pain I still feel, it is something that hundreds, to thousands, to millions of people are affected by.

Cancer kills.

Cancer hurts.

Cancer ruins lives.

Cancer’s impact is permanent.

And we need to do something about it.

Maybe you haven’t personally lost someone to cancer. Maybe you don’t even know anyone who suffered with it (if this is the case then, by God you are one of few). But this isn’t about you. This isn’t even about now. This is about the future.

Cancer isn’t something that is going to magically disappear one day. It is something that we are working to beat, together. It’s going to take time, it’s going to take effort, it’s going to take money, and it’s going to take HOPE. For the past three years, I have joined my school, and my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, in its effort to fight back against cancer through participation in Relay for Life.

Relay for Life is a fundraiser organized by the American Cancer Society “to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.” The event goes on for 24 hours where participants walk the track all night and collect donations for food, games, and other activities. The event is truly amazing. And this year, I urge you to get involved. Relay for Life events are located all across the country, so matter where you are, you can find a place walk. You can also get involved by donating. ANY amount of money helps the American Cancer Society fund everything from cancer research and patient care services to prevention and early detection programs.

Cancer isn't going away. It's made it's mark, and now it's time for us to make ours. It's time to kick cancer's butt once and for all. It's time to RELAY FOR LIFE.

I Relay for my uncle. I Relay for my grandma. I Relay for my friends. But most importantly. I Relay so that future generations don’t have to.

If you would like to get more involved, join a team, or donate PLEASE visit www.relayforlife.org

To donate to my race please visit: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/alisonfonsecarelays

Any amount makes a difference, no matter how small or large.

Dedicated to Ezoura Fonseca, Peter Sears, Susan McNaughton, as well as, all the survivors, all those who have lost the fight, and all those who are still fighting.