Kelsey Raasch brings Relay for Life to Lakeland

Stephanie Burgardt, Staff Reporter

Cancer has been a leading cause of death all across the country. It has impacted the lives of thousands of people everywhere including a few of our own Lakeland students. Senior Biology Major, Kelsey Raasch knows firsthand what it is like to live with a loved one with cancer. It was just over a year since her mother died from cancer and after participating in a Relay for Life run/walk during the summer, came up with the idea to have a Relay for Life run/walk here at Lakeland.

During the summer after Raasch’s sophomore year of college here, her mom had come to her saying that she wasn’t feeling well and that she was coughing up blood. Doctors had thought that it was just pneumonia but after three months she knew something else was the problem. In a short 20 minutes in the ER at St. Elizabeth’s in Appleton, doctors diagnosed her mom with Stage Four Lung Cancer. She went through 16 radiation treatments and had started chemotherapy.

Other than Raasch’s two younger brothers, she was the only one that could take care of her mom. “My brothers weren’t really understanding what was happening so my mother and I were kind of left on our own. Every day was a constant battle.”

While getting ready for an appointment, her mom started hallucinating and had a 10 minute seizure. Raasch called 9-1-1 who rushed her mom to the ER and was later placed on hospice care. Three days late, on October 17, she passed away.

“I ended up coming back to Lakeland because I knew she would want me to continue my education and she really seemed to like Lakeland.”

Colleges all across the state have been doing this for years, and her first thought was why not here? The Relay for Life team has an actual website for colleges to set up these run/walks to help raise awareness and to support those who have fought, are fighting, or lost their fight.

“I’m doing this to get Lakeland more involved with the community and give people a way to help those affected by cancer. Unfortunately we all know someone who’s been victim of this disease. I want to be able to show everyone how much Lakeland really cares,” says Raasch.

If you would like to help raise money for those affected by cancer, you can follow the link below. Students, faculty, staff and anyone else that is interested in participating can sign up by going to that website below. You can also email Raasch at [email protected] with any questions.

“These people need to be remembered.”