Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why I Relay

I was asked this afternoon: "with all the other projects you work on, why do you also Chair Relay For Life? Isn't it a lot of work?"

My answer: "yes it is, but would you step up and do it if I didn't?"

His answer was: "no, I already have too many irons in the fire, and it just isn't something that I feel I need to do"

Something that gets to me much more than most things is people who rush in and complain about all of the things they had to do today. All of the places they had to go and how much time it took them. I typically do not do this for one simple reason... I am a volunteer. I do not do it for the notoriety. I do it because I care about people, I am passionate about causes, and most often, the things I volunteer for enrich my life more than just sitting on the sofa flipping channels (which trust me, I do plenty of!).

I imagine that if I walked into a crowded room and tossed a stone I would hit someone who has been touched by Cancer. Most of us have. If you have not, you are so very lucky and should cherish that - I envy you.

I have been touched by Cancer. I lost my mother to Cancer 8 years ago. I have watched 2 of her sisters fight the same form of Breast Cancer.

I have been touched by Cancer. I am a 5 year survivor of non HPV Cervical Cancer. Tomorrow I am having a suspicious lump examined.

I have been touched by Cancer. I have lost friends to Cancer - some younger than me. I have lost neighbors, and family, and acquaintances. I have watched children battle the disease and mothers leave their children when their battle was lost.

I Relay not because "they" don't have the time. I Relay because I want to have more time. More time here with my family and friends. I want my children's losses to end. To lose their grandmother before she got to spoil them isn't fair. Mantha was the light of my mothers eye's. Jadon was her dream (he was born 12 months and 9 days after she died).

I Relay because I want them to have more time. They have a 50% chance of carrying the same gene I carry. I don't ever want them to know how Cancer feels. I want a cure before there is ever a chance for them to have a diagnosis.

We need research to find a cure. Research costs money. Money isn't growing on the tree out back, so that means someone needs to raise it. THAT is why I Relay!

I live in a small town in a small county. A county of less than 14,000. A county that is number 1 in the Midwest for funds raised (per capita) for Relay For Life for 5 years. A county that has been in the top 5 in the nation for funds raised (per capita) for Relay For Life for 5 years. Next year our little county will have raised over 1 MILLION DOLLARS for Relay For Life. I would not miss that for the world!

Ok, so I do like to toot our horn a little... but remember that statement about doing something that enriches my life a little more than watching tv? Can you top knowing that you have been a a part of something that is not only amazing, but also helping the people you know and love survive a horrible disease?


And I will be Relay'ing all night long on Friday! (so will my city pally Kim in case you wanted to know!!! THAT is the cherry on top of the whipped cream on top of the ice cream!)
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