Adrienne Rosel's grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, but she also has lost an aunt and two friends' parents to cancer.
So the Kansas University sophomore from Liberal decided to do something to make a difference. She is spearheading the first-ever KU Relay for Life, which will be from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
"It's symbolic, because we'll be out there rain or shine," she said. "People with cancer never get to take a break from it, either."
The event is somewhat of a competition with Kansas State University, Rosel said. K-State's second annual Relay For Life recently raised $37,000.
Rosel's goal is to raise $50,000. There are 52 teams signed up, with at least eight people on a team. She said she expected nearly 600 people to participate, each with a goal of raising at least $100.
Each team will have a person on the Memorial Stadium track during the 12-hour period. The relay will start with a "survivors walk," which will feature at least eight cancer survivors encircling the football field. Luminaria dedicated to cancer victims and survivors will line Campanile Hill during the event.
Maggie Mason, a junior from Canada and co-organizer, said the KU Relay for Life was designed to complement the Lawrence community's Relay for Life, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. June 13 at Haskell Indian Nations University. Many students are away in the summer and cannot participate in that event, she said.
"It's an untapped resource," she said. "We've never done it before."
Mason said she expected the KU relay to become an annual event -- especially because the inaugural relay exceeded expectations.
"We were hoping for 40 teams, and we got 52," she said. "And that's just in the first year."