Monday, April 26, 2010

Relay for Life 2010

We each walked for different reasons, in remembrance of different people and with our own experiences to guide us. But together, we walked to have a say in the fight against cancer. With each step we took, it was a deceleration that one day, however near or far away that is, that one extremely joyous day, a cure will be found. That one day, we might live in a world where lives are not ruled and lost to this terrible disease.

We pounded the track through the cold, wind and heavy rain for 24 hours. And still, that is nothing compared to the fight people young and old are in to reclaim their lives from cancer. Our feet may be wet and tired and sore now, but we are helping to build a stronger, brighter and happier tomorrow for so many people.

I walked in remembrance of my Uncle Al. I walked to give support to a great organization. And I walked so I could be surrounded with individuals that are stronger mentally and emotionally than myself, so that one day I might be able to follow their example of strength and courage.

This was such a great experience and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to participate. I was touched deeply by the speakers, one from a cancer survivor who is only a few weeks older than myself and then from a care-taker who had lost her father and grandfather to cancer, and her little sister who is 15 is currently battling cancer. After they both spoke, the lights went out and the music was turned off, and together, everyone that was at the track at 11pm Saturday night walked a lap in silence to honor and remember those that have passed. As I walked, I read every name on the Luminaries.

On Every bag there is a name, for every name there was a person, and for every person there is a story that should never be forgotten.

For me, this event represented fighting for life, love and happiness. I pushed myself farther than I ever have before. When I wanted to quit and go home to where it was warm and dry, I pushed myself harder, knowing that whatever I was going through would never compare to the pain and suffering of those with cancer. I gave everything I had, and left all my doubts, fears, blood, sweat and tears on that track. I pushed past the pain and kept on walking, even if it meant at times I was barely moving forward.

I set goals for myself and I held myself accountable for them. And when I reached that goal, I knew I had the strength to make and complete another. And that's what I did! I told myself I wanted to walk at least 30 laps. I reached that goal by Saturday early afternoon. Then I decided I could walk 50 laps. I took my VICTORY LAP (lap 51) at 9:09am Sunday. That was a total of 12.75 miles, and when I saw how close I was to completing a half marathon (13.1 miles), I KNEW I had 2 more laps left in me. And I am proud to inform you that I completed my first half marathon at 10:19am Sunday. For my 53 laps, I ended up walking a total of 13.25 miles, a little more than a half marathon! I was near tears as the realization of what I had just completed overwhelmed me.

It was then that I knew with all certainty that I had done my part. It was then that I felt I could stop. It was then that I discovered what kind of individual I am striving to become. It was in those moments that I knew nothing in this world will ever slow me down or keep me from reaching my dreams and goals as long as I am willing to put forth the effort to fight for them. THAT is what I have taken from Relay for Life 2010. And I am already looking forward to next year's event!
And this Ladies and Gentlemen, was when I reached 13.25 miles!!! In other words, a HALF MARATHON!! :D

I would also like to publicly thank the 20 people who came out to walk with our team. They battled the cold, rain and wind when they could have stayed home. We would have understood, but we were so glad that they were dedicated to helping our cause. Also, I want to thank everyone who donated to the American Cancer Society under my name. Your support and faith in me means more than I can express to you in words. So thank you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Relay For Life

Dear Friends and Family,

On Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25 , I will be helping save lives from cancer by taking part in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life, and I’m hoping you will support me.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives people in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.

In addition to helping people celebrate, remember, and fight back, Relay For Life also helps raise much-needed funds and awareness to help the American Cancer Society save lives from cancer and create more birthdays.

Please support me in my efforts by visiting my personal web page to make a secure, tax-deductible online donation.

Every donation really does make a difference. I know that times are tighter than normal for many of us, but any amount you can give truly can help save lives.

You see, thanks to your support, the American Cancer Society can:

• Help people stay well by helping them take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early, when it’s most treatable
• Help people get well by being in their corner around the clock to guide them through every step of their cancer experience
• Find cures by funding groundbreaking research that helps us understand cancer’s causes, determine how best to prevent it, and discover new ways to cure it
• Fight back by working with lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and rally communities worldwide to join the fight

Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against cancer … whatever your reasons, I hope you’ll choose to make a difference by making a donation online to support my efforts. I’m so grateful to have great people like you in my life who want to see an end to cancer in our lifetime. Together we can save lives.

Thank you, and I will keep you updated on my progress.

To learn more about Relay For Life, please visit our Relay For Life information page.