Colleges Against Cancer: Leading the Fight for a Cure

Posted on March 20, 2018

About Colleges Against Cancer:

Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty, and staff dedicated to eliminating cancer by working to implement the programs and mission of the American Cancer Society. With hundreds of chapters nationwide, CAC shows the world that young people care and want to make a difference. Each year, CAC puts on a Relay for Life event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. This year’s event is April 6-7 from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the Fieldhouse.

Group photo at relay for life

About Paige:

Paige is a senior at Grand Valley State majoring in national resource management. After being a member in CAC for three years, Paige made the transition to president for her senior year. Paige’s proudest moment while being a part of CAC was exceeding last year’s Relay for Life fundraising goal before the event even started! By the end of the relay, they raised over $13,000 more than their initial goal.

The Office of Student Life was able to snag some of Paige’s valuable time to answer a few questions about CAC and their Relay for Life event. Talk about a game-changer!

Photo of Paige MacKinnon

Q: Why does CAC matter?

A: CAC is important because it takes an army to fight cancer, and our members have the strength, passion, and drive to make big changes in the world. It is so amazing to see people our age fighting a battle that affects so many people’s lives.

Q: What makes GV’s CAC chapter special?

A: Our members make GV’s CAC chapter special. Each member brings their own story to our organization but shares a common goal. Our members continuously bring out the best in each other and rise above and beyond our organization’s expectations. We see leadership potential in many of them, and those who choose to use these skills inspire their peers to keep striving for their goals and remind them anything is achievable with a little bit of hard work.

Q: What has GV CAC been up to lately?

A: CAC has been working hard this semester planning our Relay For Life event! Everything from planning performances and games, recruiting new teams, contacting cancer survivors, educating about the American Cancer Society’s services, and promoting our event on social media is done by our team of 50 members. It’s incredible how much work goes into planning an event like Relay For Life, and our members are doing an amazing job!

Q: Tell us about CAC’s Relay for Life Event

A: The theme is sleepover this year! Our Relay For Life is a 12-hour fundraising event, occurring overnight to symbolize the fact that cancer doesn’t sleep, so we shouldn’t either. We encourage teams to have at least one member walking the track at all times to understand the exhaustion and struggles a cancer patient and their loved ones experience. We host a free dinner for cancer survivors before our event (5 p.m.) and invite them to kick off our night by walking the first lap with their families. After all, they are the reason we do what we do. We love being able to celebrate them and admire their bravery and strength! Like other Relay For Life events, our organization presents four ceremonies throughout the night to share the American Cancer Society’s mission with our participants. In between ceremonies, our event is jam-packed with fun games for teams to participate in, live performances by student bands, a cappella groups, and dance organizations, and Zumba and/or yoga to keep the energy alive! By the end of the night, we hope Relay For Life participants leave inspired to do more in their communities to help lead the fight against cancer.

People setting up for Relay for Life

If you and your friends wish to join Paige and CAC in their mission to end cancer at Relay For Life, visit or follow CAC on social media.

Page last modified January 4, 2019