Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud participated in the American Cancer Society’s all-night Relay for Life for the fourth consecutive year at the Sartell Bernick’s Arena. This annual event to support cancer research reflects the college’s “We Care” mission.But this year, the fight cancer message came across particularly loud and clear in the form of Health Care Management Program Chair Deb Berglund’s survivor speech.
Berglund is a stage-4 melanoma survivor and the local team development chair for Relay for Life. She kicked off the Relay ceremony with her personal cancer story: one of struggle and support and survival.
The first shift of Team MSB (a total of 34 staff, students and other supporters) was in the audience to cheer her on, including five medical students.
Medical assistant degree student Sarena McIntosh walked in honor of Berglund and in memory of her boyfriend’s aunt. Relay for LIfe becomes very up-close and personal in this way.
“It was very important to me because [Berglund] is my instructor and has been for the last two quarters, and I hope to have her for more classes,” McIntosh explains.
This year’s team also impacted Berglund in a personal way. “It was special knowing the team rallied around Relay to fight [cancer]” she reflects. “And it was great to see them present besides fundraising.”
Berglund’s dedication to Relay for Life comes from a need to give back. “I was fortunate to have had expert care, support and just to be alive,” she says. “Cancer taught me appreciation. To take nothing for granted. And if just one person [benefits and] never has to hear that diagnosis, ‘you’ve got cancer,’ then it is worth it.”
Berglund notes that even for a survivor, the fight is ongoing. She was first diagnosed in 1999, but sees her doctor every three months and has had four melanomas and numerous pre-cancerous lesions since then.“Relay is important,” she says, “because of the camaraderie. Everyone is joining in the fight, not just survivors. And the more research, the better the chance for a cure. ”
Although final numbers are not in, Team MSB raised approximately $2,300 for Relay for Life this year, its highest total to date. The entire event raised more than $37,000 at present.
Now that’s a walk in the park!