Sarah Goldy-Brown
Student Writer

Goldy-Brown and her mom after her mom’s surgery in Spring 2013.

Goldy-Brown and her mom after her mom’s surgery in Spring 2013.

Cancer has always been part of my story.

In September of 2001, doctors diagnosed my younger sister Kelly (age two at the time) with retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer. Kelly won her fight with cancer, but cancer took away her right eye. She will never be able to watch a 3D movie, serve in the military, or become a pilot, but she does not let that stop her. Kelly, now 15, understands what it means to have beaten cancer and she has grown up to be a stronger person because of it.

Because of Kelly’s fight with cancer, my family started actively participating in our local community’s Relay For Life. Relay is an overnight event that raises money for the American Cancer Society, a non-profit dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. Relay gave us the chance to process Kelly’s diagnosis, to celebrate her bravery, and to fight back so that no more families would have to endure what we did.

I wish I could say that was the end of my story with cancer, but I cannot. During Easter break of 2013, my mom was unexpectedly diagnosed with carcinoid cancer, a low-grade but chronic form of cancer. What we thought might have been the flu or a kidney stone ended up being tumors in her appendix, colon, and liver. Removing her cancer required surgery and microsphere radiation treatment, an injected form of radiation. Unfortunately, current medical treatments cannot remove 100% of the tumors in her liver, so they will slowly grow back over time. In the meantime, my mom has been doing extremely well and has established her new sense of “normal.”

In the world of cancer diagnoses, my mom was lucky, but that in no way means her diagnosis has been easy to deal with. I cannot fully explain what it is like to have to care for the one who usually cares for you. I do not have the words to describe what it feels like to see your mother sitting on the couch in severe pain and vomiting.

Cancer took its toll on my mom’s body, but it also took its toll on my family. It caused a lot of stress and we each handled it in different ways. It also shook us spiritually as we attempted to see God’s purpose in my mother’s disease. I am happy to say that we have grown stronger as a family since her diagnosis, have grown more patient, and have all found our own ways to cope spiritually. I cherish my relationship with my mom more now than ever before.

When I took on the role of President for Messiah College’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), I knew that I wanted the club to have some role in planning Messiah College’s Relay For Life 2015. I had no idea that our club would end up planning and executing the entire event, but I cannot imagine a better end to my senior year at Messiah.

PRSSA will host Messiah College Relay For Life 2015 on Apr. 17-18 from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in Hitchcock Arena. During the event, members from each team will take turns walking around the track—this serves as a reminder that cancer never sleeps. The other participants will spend their time in the gym playing games, listening to music, worshipping, listening to speakers, and participating in several ceremonies. We will spend time remembering those who have lost their lives to cancer, celebrating those who have won their fight, and fighting back so that no more people will have to receive that dreaded diagnosis.

Relay gives me the chance to stand in community with others who want to see an end to cancer in our lifetime. It gives me the chance to raise money and awareness for a cause that I wholeheartedly believe in. Most importantly, Relay gives me the chance to celebrate and honor my mom and my sister.

Cancer may not be your story today, but it might be yours tomorrow. It might be your mom’s one day. Or your brother’s. Or your daughter’s. We cannot put off the fight against cancer, because cancer is not waiting. Please join PRSSA at Messiah College’s Relay For Life 2015 and help us to finish the fight against cancer.

To register, please go to or find us on Facebook at  


One Response to “Why I Relay and why you should too” Subscribe

  1. Geri LaSalle March 8, 2015 at 11:38 am #

    I am very proud of Sarah Goldy-Brown and her work to beat cancer. Sarah was an instrumental music student of mine when she was in Elementary School in the East Penn School District. She was a wonderful student who always did her very best. I also beat cancer (breast cancer) and had to undergo treatment while Sarah was my student. I’ll never forget how kind my students were to me. Keep up the great work Sarah! Hope you are still playing your trumpet! Love,
    Geri LaSalle

Leave a Reply to Geri LaSalle

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