Do you know anyone who hasn't been touched by cancer in one way or another? ... I do NOT. Everyone I know has at least known someone who has had cancer, many have lost someone to cancer.
I come from a family that has been haunted by this horrible disease. In my short 34 years of life, I have lost my Grandmother to ovarian cancer, 3 great Aunt's and Uncles to different cancers, my Uncle, my Father to a lung cancer caused by asbestos, my mom's best friend to bone cancer, my Uncle's sister to pancreatic cancer, my friend Misha (mother of 8 children) to breast cancer, and my two boxers.
Then I have people in my life that have been lucky enough to beat this pointless disease. My best friend Lei has beat 4 different cancers, my Grandfather survived a throat cancer, and many friends that I have met along the way have survived cancer.
.... and currently a friend of mine is fighting the same cancer that took my father. Andy is fighting hard 4 years after they told him he'd live. He looks and is feeling great! He's amazing!
Relay for life is an event put on by the American Cancer Society, that fundraises and teaches awareness.
It's an event that is based off of the idea that cancer doesn't sleep... so we will not for 24 hours... For that 24 hours someone in our team will walk (whether it's in shifts or constant) constantly. During this 24 hours, teams honor people fighting, and remember people who have lost their battle. Each team is there for their own reason... My reason is that I don't ever want my children to have to hear "you have cancer". I want to help raise money and teach people the dangers of cancer.
During this 24 hours, I guarantee that you will meet people with the same goals, and sadness that you have, you will make friends that will be forever.
I Relay for my Grandma, my Great Aunts and Uncles, my Uncle Fred, for my mom's bff Jane, for my Uncle's sister Glenda, for my dogs Havok and Tank, for Leilani, my Grandpa, my friend Misha, for Andy and for my dad who just lost his battle this past September.
100% of these funds that we raise go to the American Cancer Society. Not only do these funds help with research, and to help find a cure... they help people who don't have rides to their doctors appointments, they will help a little girl get a wig after she's lost her hair from chemo, they will help set awareness and a message that we will NOT keep letting cancer take the people we love.
Relay for Life is now in 20 different countries and over 4 million people participate. You can find a Relay for Life event near you here. If you aren't ready to commit to an event, you can always donate here. Or if you would like to honor or remember someone you can dedicate a luminaria bag here.
This will be my 5th year that the kids and I have beeninvolved in Relay and I cannot imagine not being a part of it.