Relay for Life is an important part of my life. It feels like it is part of who I am.
Our Relay for Life was back in May and was a huge success. We hit our goals on multiple levels….teams, fundraising, participation. It was overall a huge SUCCESS and as I paused to take it all in an appreciate it on Saturday morning I was in awe.
We were all there at the middle school track for one purpose….to celebrate, remember, and fight back.
We celebrated the survivors in our lives who are still with us. Some still fighting. My uncle, my great aunt, my friend, a former student, a family friend, a little boy I’ve heard so much about. All these people surviving this battle we call cancer and doing their best to kick butt. They took a lap with their caregivers behind them. How meaningful is that? Those who have cared and supported them throughout this awful journey continued to “have their back” as they journeyed around the track for Relay.
We remember. The luminaria ceremony gets me everytime. I listened to two young ladies in our community. Two different perspectives on cancer. One young lady who has watched her grandfather battle and how it has slowly made their family something different. Something we all know they will conquer and take on head strong….but something different. A grandpa who use to mow the yard but currently struggles daily to get those things done due to pain. A grandpa who use to be at every track meet and baseball and softball games but just can’t do it anymore. I cried with those children as she spoke. The pain in their eyes and their words was certainly difficult to bear. But their story needed to be heard. The other young lady who is a survivor herself. Losing her hair and worrying about being made fun of at school. Feeling sick and missing school. Longing to just be a normal kid but worrying about doing her best to battle cancer. Two very different stories both ones we need to remember in our battle to fight back.
We fight back. I watched many make commitments to better themselves or help others in the fight against cancer. Some vowed to wear sunscreen. Others vowed to quit smoking. Some vowed to help their dad quit smoking. All of us thinking ahead of what we could do to prevent the words “you have cancer” being spoken again.
I believe our Relay was amazing this year because of our teams. Our teams who built themselves up to be more than amazing. We had teams who were first timers but appeared as if they had been doing it for years! Team building is important to a successful Relay because the teams and their members make up WHO the Relay actually is. We want our Relay to continue to grow….but more importantly we want those teams to come back and be a part of our Relay again. Each and every individual and participant was important to our success of meeting so many goals. We could not have done it without each and every one of them.
|Our amazing team captains!|
One of my favorite teams would have to be my own. Duh! Shut it Down… My family team. Sure, there are some team members who aren’t blood related. However, I treat them all as family and would think of them as nothing less. We seem to kick ass together. We’ve been Relaying for many years so I am sure that our experience helps a bit. We came together this year and dominated as Top Fundraising Team again gaining over $9.000 for Relay. Our team took the Duck Dynasty approach and role as Cancer Commanders. I loved the camo and duck blind and ducks we used to decorate our campsite. Every year my family continues to amaze me with their ideas to raise money and their ideas for decorations and themes. We have some pretty creative people and I’m certainly proud to be related to them!
|My amazing family and team|
|Cousins…and Cancer Commander!|
|Willie and Jase (Ryan and Zac)|
All of this is important to me for many reasons. For years I’ve Relayed because I lost a wonderful uncle to cancer and I want to remember him. I want to remember him for my cousins and my aunt who I know miss him daily. Since we lost Uncle Wayne I’ve been forced to think of others during Relay time…unfortunately. Most recently I’ve added to my list my guy’s sister-in-law and a student at school. The list of names continue to get longer on our shirts. Those who we Relay for. It’s very sad really. I wish that list would just stop. I wish there were no one for me to Relay for but just to do it just because. Almost on a daily basis there are things that remind me of Uncle Wayne. Those reminders keep me going on my fight to end cancer.
Have you joined the fight to end cancer? Don’t you want to live in a world where no one else has to hear “you have cancer” EVER AGAIN?!?!
If you haven’t then I have a wonderful opportunity for you…..you or someone you know should come out to Greenfield Central High School this Friday, June 14th from 5:30-9:30 p.m. and participate in the CPS-3 Study….Cancer Prevention Study. Go here to find out more about enrollment and eligibility… http://www.cancer.org/research/researchtopreventcancer/participate-cancer-prevention-3
See you Friday…