Student turns loss into fight against cancer

Taylor Boucher knows all too well the toll that cancer takes on families. When he was just 4 years old, his grandfather died of cancer and his family decided to begin working to help others facing the disease. His mother brought him along as she directed Relay for Life events in his hometown of Calabasas, Calif. 

Now Boucher is following in his mother's footsteps, helping to lead a relay event at the University of South Carolina, where he is majoring in athletic training.

“I guess I wanted to be just like her,” Boucher says, adding that his family will be coming from California for this year's event at Carolina.

Relay For Life is an American Cancer Society program in which teams camp out overnight and take turns walking or running around a track or path at a local high school, park or fairground. Events are up to 24 hours long, and because cancer never sleeps, each team is asked to have at least one participant on the track at all times. The event raises money for cancer research.

As co-director of the UofSC event, Boucher has assisted with all the details, from the logistics of the night to social media. He helped plan the music, the vendors and getting people to the event.

Throughout his life, Boucher has lost other family members and even some of his peers to cancer. This year has been particularly difficult, as he lost a baseball teammate from home and his grandmother. Boucher says receiving the position of co-director the year after their deaths made perfect sense.

“It’s my way of fighting back and coping with them not being here anymore,” says Boucher, who also spent the past semester working with the Carolina baseball team as part of his athletic training studies.

Boucher says he has been bolstered in his work with the event by his fraternity Phi Sigma Kappa and expects the crowd to be the largest it's ever been.

Learn more

Visit the UofSC Relay for Life website to learn how you can donate to the cause. Follow on social media @uscRelay4Life

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