Cancer Sucks so Let’s Relay for Life

This is the 30th year the American Cancer Society has run the Relay for Life. The American Cancer Society is hosting Relay Events all across the country all year long. Check your local area to see when your event is and get involved.
Every person has a story. Everyone has a WHY. Who do you Relay for? I do it for my Uncle Charles and for my best friend’s little sister Toya. It’s been 5 years since Toya’s death. I’ve participated in many events for brain cancer and cancer research in general. Tonight is the first event I’ll participate in for my Uncle. Cancer is personal to me. When I agreed to do the event I didn’t realize how hard it would be for me mentally. I did’t realize how much it was going to make me miss my uncle. This is not business as usual. I’ve cried a lot of tears this week. I spent an unhealthy amount of time in my bed covers pulled over my head before acceptance and responsibility set in.  Uncle Charles and Toya are not coming back. I accept that finally. Knowing it and accepting it are two different things I guess. Now it’s time to go to work and take my share of responsibility to help end cancer. It’s time to get back to work. That starts tonight with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.

Toya was 25 when she lost her battle with cancer 5 years ago. Toya was young and full of life and she kept us all fashionable. Her dream went from being an international fashion designer to surviving cancer to praying one day others wouldn’t die from brain cancer. I can’t tell you how much I want to Stomp out Cancer. Uncle Charles’ fight with cancer ended 18 months ago. For me he was always more of a dad than an uncle.  It’s fitting that the 1st event I do in his honor is Father’s Day weekend. He didn’t become the best uncle after he died he was always the best uncle. When I was away at college we’d spend endless hours together watching sports. Sometimes we wouldn’t even talk – we didn’t need to. I can’t adequately explain what my uncle means to me or how very heartbreaking it is that he’s gone. Silly me I just thought we would have more time. Thought he’d always be there. Who knew cancer had other plans. So today it’s time to put my big girl pants on and get to work because the war is not over. As weary as I maybe it has to be done. We can’t stop fighting until there is a cure.

Each of us can do something. So you aren’t eligible for a study, you can’t walk 2 feet without getting winded, and it’s all you can do to make it to payday so donating is definitely out of the question. You can still help, that is the great thing about us all being in this together. There is something for everyone. Go grocery shopping for someone or run errands for someone you know fighting this battle. Stop by the cancer unit and volunteer your time. If that’s not your bag start educating yourself so that you can help educate others. Encourage people to get annual mammograms and prostate exams. if someone in your circle starts suddenly having headaches  on a regular basis they can’t explain and the pain is excruciating GET  THEM THE DOCTOR.  Educate yourself on the “superfoods” that may prevent cancer. Take a proactive approach.

There is so much we can do to march in the direction of ridding our world of cancer.  We just need to collectively decide to run in that direction. One last thing if you’ve kicked cancer’s butt once don’t be that asshole who plays chicken with it a second time.  You beat lung cancer, or throat cancer then want to go back to smoking 2 packs a day. REALLY!  If you’re looking for me … you can find me on the battlefield….running and fighting.

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