A SkillsUSA community service project became personal for Manatee Technical Institute’s Patient Care Technician students when they participated in the Relay for Life event on Saturday. Crystal Robles, a dual-enrollment high school student in the program, was diagnosed with stage-four carcinoma on March 24 after a doctor found a mass on her neck. When Denise Walker, the program’s instructor, found out about the diagnosis she and the students decided to make the walk for Crystal. With that theme in mind, students designed t-shirts to wear to the event to show their support for their classmate. Grady Barr decided to take it a step further and made it his goal to walk for Crystal during the entire 18-hour event, and he succeeded. The Relay for Life cause is very close to Grady’s heart because he has lost three family members, including his mother, to cancer. When asked about the challenge he faced in walking for so many hours, Grady smiled and said, “The mental and physical pain that I’ll endure is nothing compared to what our loved ones have endured.” The Relay for Life turned out to be a huge success; $100,000 was raised before the event even started, and the MTI students showed their support for their classmate the best way they knew how – by Walking for Crystal.
Visit the Photos page for pictures from the event.