They’re bright, enthusiastic and despite their name, Fight Back Team, is all about fun.
They aren’t a traditional Relay For Life team, in fact most of the members actually participate in Relay for other teams, but they have a vital and important role during the May 26 event in LeBourdais Park.
“We feel we are the youth voice in the fight against cancer,” Fight Back team captain Meaghan Ryley said.
However, Meaghan admitted she first joined the Fight Back Team because she loves to be on stage and Cathy Briggs pitched the concept as entertainment and a positive, upbeat presence during Relay.
“We started with the high school Fight Back Team four years ago, it was our way to get students involved with Relay as they are the next generation to carry on the fight against cancer,” Briggs said.
“The first year, students did an incredible video interviewing people in the community, asking two questions – how have you been affected by cancer and what would you do to fight back.
“The second year, students did a second interview but it was all about what is cancer. They interviewed a science teacher, an oncology nurse and cancer survivors – it was amazing. Their message from the stage was excerpts from the various people they interviewed and gave their perspectives of the disease.
“Last year was the great play with four cancer heroes who successfully fought Tyranno Tumor – it left me in tears because of the incredible impact of their message.”
Meaghan’s first introduction to Relay was in 2010. She was a Miss Quesnel candidate and part of the program was helping out on Relay day.
In 2011, Cathy showed a group of about eight girls a flash mob video about the fight against breast cancer.
“It was so cool and so inspiring and with last year’s super hero theme, it was easy to come up with ideas,” Meaghan said.
“But that was in April and we didn’t have much time. This year there are so many more of us and we’ve been planning since January.”
Although short on details (keeping their plans a surprise for Relay day) Meaghan did say with the three Miss Quesnel Royalty and seven candidates, along with the other members of Fight Back Team, they are planning a much bigger production.
“We plan to build anticipation throughout the day,” she said with a secretive smile.
“I’m hoping we can have our own tent in the park to establish a presence during Relay.”
Krystal Conway joined the Fight Back Team this year because she wanted to be part of such a great event.
“Everyone has a connection to cancer,” she said.
“I know many friends whose family has been affected by the disease.”
Krystal has been on a regular Relay team for the last three years and is looking forward to expanding her role through the Fight Back Team.
“Fight Back is more entertainment and we get together at various times during Relay day and perform skits, flash mobs and also help organize games,” she said.
For Krystal, Relay day is all about hope and everyone together, she said you really feel the strength in numbers.
“We’re a small town, but with a big heart,” she said.
“Everyone, from all walks of life, come together to fight cancer.”
Briggs added these students are an inspiration.
“They see the world from a very different perspective – and their way of getting their message across is very different than how our generation would do it,” she said.
“They amaze me with their ideas and their energy and their enthusiasm – and they totally inspire me, both personally and professionally.”
There’s still time to form a team for the May 26 Relay For Life.
For information, answers to questions or how to become involved with Relay, contact Michelle Godfrey, 250-983-8815.