Cancer survivors and care givers, it’s your time to shine. The American Cancer Society is calling for all community members to participate in the annual Relay for Life April 21st at the Polk Street United Methodist Church.
Have you ever heard of the Relay For Life? Have you ever been to this event? If you’ve never been there before, get ready for an awesome experience. The Relay For Life is an event that celebrates cancer survivors, their care givers, cancer patients going through treatments, and remembering those we’ve lost due to cancer. Here’s the kickers, it’s not a sad event, it’s a happy event. Yes, you will probably see tears, but most are happy tears of survivors and their families. Yes, you will see tears from family and friends that lost someone who lost their battles to cancer, but I promise you, you won’t leave the event bummed out.
The first time I went to the Relay For Life, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Like a lot of people, I thought it was going to be a sad event, but it wasn’t. It was both happy and sad, mostly happy. I met a lot of survivors and their families and care givers. It was being with people who knew what you’ve been through, they knew your struggles.
Some of the survivors were there after being cancer free for years, some more than 20 years and then there were survivors that were there still with bald heads and not yet a year cancer free.
At a relay for Life event, there are a lot of hugs. Hugs from people you barely know, hugs from people you haven’t seen since the previous year’s event. But there are so many hugs that you just don’t leave feeling sad. You leave feeling understood and loved.
I can’t wait to go to this year’s event to walk the survivor’s walk. What is that? All cancer survivors, wearing their Survivor t-shirts, get to walk around the track as one. That’s where my tears begin. My tears are happy and sad tears. Happy because I’m survivor, a cancer survivor, and I’m alive. And there are sad tears because I think about my mom who lost her battle with cancer. I think of my friend Richard who fought hard and lost his battle. But I also know that they’re at peace and out of pain. They also light luminaries in remembrance of those who lost their battle.
The Relay for Life brings the community together to embrace their collective power to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer.
I’m excited because I have friends coming to the Relay For Life event tonight with me for their first time. If you happen to see some folks in purple survivor shirts or black shirts that say “I do not cancer here or there I do not like cancer anywhere,” give them a big ‘ol hug. They’re survivors and care givers. Look for me, I’ll be in purple, even my hair.
Get involved. Get on board. Learn more about the Relay for Life at relayforlife.org or call 806-353-4307.
Hope to see you tonight, April 21st, 6pm, at the United Methodist Church.