This will be short, as I’m lying in bed, feeling ill yet again. I guess being outside in the rain all night long has re-ignited the cold/flu I’ve been getting over. Anyway, Relay for Life this year was great, as usual, with some ups and downs. The ups include some great laughs with my team, the Young Avengers (this was our fifth year participating;) some great snacks, thanks to our teammate Shannon; and we won some of the awards and games, including Best Team Spirit, the Name that Tune game, the Scavenger hunt, and my sister won the Best Jazzersizer award. Judy from Jazzersize was there as usual, and brought along her daughter and granddaughter this time. She worked us really hard, and most of us had worked up a sweat, even though we were wearing a couple of layers under our capes and lightning-bolt printed undies!
A really cool thing this year was that there is a team that participates every year called “Lacin’ up for Laurie”. This year, Laurie joined them at Relay, and she is now cancer-free!
My longtime friend Shelley was also there with her family. Her mom Vicki passed away last year after battling breast cancer. Her family had been told after her mom’s treatment that she had an 80% chance that her cancer wouldn’t return, and when she passed suddenly less than 6 months after her diagnosis, they were really shaken. Vicki was truly one of the most fun, lighthearted people I know, and when I heard the news, (I hadn’t known she was sick,) I spent half an hour in a parking lot in my car, crying.
Cancer has striken my Grandad, my Nana, and my auntie Rita. All have passed away. And because cancer tends to strike within families, I am terrified for my own immediate family.
Plus, over the past year there have been three or four of my friends who have had someone in their family suffer from cancer. My friend Lisa’s sister is currently going through radiation therapy, a procedure that she has been told is the last defence against her cancer. It’s terrifying, and I know that over the next year, there will be more.
So that’s why I Relay. I feel its the one thing I can do each year to make a difference. And when I see signs at Relay saying that in the 1940s people had a 20% chance of surviving cancer, compared to today, when they have a brighter outlook of 64%, and that if Terry Fox had been diagnosed with his cancer today he likely would survive, it reminds me that I’m making a difference.
Update: Just got a follow-up email from Relay organizers today, and Friday’s Relay in Abbotsford raised a total of $72,000 and counting!