October has now become synonymous not only for the fall season, but also with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Whether it’s pink products, ribbons, or the “Happy Birthday” song celebrities sing on TV, this is the extent of what many associate with breast cancer.
On Oct. 7 and 10, VU students, faculty, employees, friends, and family gathered together in honor of this cause. It began with a the prayer event “Pray for a Cure” and followed with the 5k walk “Making Strides” for Breast Cancer in Costa Mesa.
Held in Needham Chapel, “Pray For A Cure” consisted of a night of student-led worship, a devotion message from Garid Beeler (VU alum and Pastor at Calvary Costa Mesa) and a time of small group prayer.
Many students also walked away from the event not only feeling encouraged and edified but also feeling that they grew closer in their relationships with Jesus.
“I definitely felt God’s presence there,” freshman Johanie Martinez said. “I walked away with the sense of getting deeper with the Lord.”
Following this event, the VU team gathered together on a Sunday morning to walk in celebration of survivors, remembrance of a lost loved one, and in the hope of Jesus at this year’s Making Strides.
“It was interesting to see the survivors’ faces. Cancer changed their lives and it brought the people together. They were so joyful,” said junior Cassie Harrison said.
Along with wanting to get more involved at school, freshman Alyson Toyama also joined the team in memory of her grandparents who passed away from cancer. This event helped shape a new point of view for her.
“When I think of cancer, I think of my grandparents. The event was very inspiring because I saw a different view of cancer. Being there really felt like a party and the stories of people were encouraging,” Toyama said.
Dr. Karen Lee, Associate Professor of English, first involved the Vanguard team in the walk. “I loved our prayer circle at the beginning and spending time with people who care about healing. The dignity and beauty of the cancer survivors were an amazing testimony alone, and the jubilance of the walk touched my heart,” Lee said.
“Our Vanguard students shared their faith in God’s healing and used it as an opportunity to witness His redemptive love. I am learning to see how we truly are vessels for transfusions of hope.”