16 May 2011

Relay For Life Night

Survivors are the reason we Relay.

This is the first phrase of the website for the relays from the American Cancer Society.

Well, this is not the reason why I joined the event this last Friday night. I don't want to be honored for something that I had no choice in, I did not want to have cancer, nor was I the one choosing to survive. I survived through the mercy of my Lord Jesus Christ. It is all in His honor that I walk.

And to give HOPE to others.

So I joined my very good friend Beth and a team of about fifteen participants to raise money for the ACS and walked all night from Friday 7 pm until Saturday morning 6 am. Our team raised $1037.00 - more than we had wished for. We thank each and every one for their care.

The relay started with the Survivors Lap where the survivors had to walk around the track  one time, I guess to be celebrated, but most of all to show HOPE. Then the  relay was on! One member of the team had to be on the track at all times. For our team, it worked out great - because it seemed we had alot of walkers and runners on the team. So I got to spend alot of quality time with my friend, walking and running around the track lap after lap. She did 10.5 miles and I could accumulate 19 miles - three of those I actually ran! Literally, I was walking until 6 am when we decided to leave. (And when you convert the 19 miles into kilometers, I actually walked 30.4 km - doesn't that sound like something? Oh, I am so 'proud'.)

In order to make it more fun, there was a DJ who played music all night long, you know the kind that's upbeat and makes you wanna move! They also include some fun laps where the entire team has to go back out on the track, like a backwards-lap or a whistle-lap. People were selling food and drinks (coffee!!!), so really one can eat all night long and walk, so it won't stay on the hips!?! Seriously, it is alot of fun, and for a good cause!

There is one important aspect to the relay, and that's the Luminaria that brings people together to remember their loved ones lost to the battle of cancer or the ones, like me, that won the battle, at least for now!?! These are bags that each have a name on it. They place a candle inside. And when the sun sets, the illuminated bags fill the dark stadium with the light of hope. It is very moving, and lots of tears fell.... There was a minute of silence and lap with all participants around the track. I was honored to be there.

The food and drinks that the teams sell, are part of their raised money. There was also a silent auction going on. Teams had to come up with a basket of goodies and try to sell it to the highest bidder. We made two baskets, each with a lovely hat made by my friend that crochets, among so many other things. I had put a bid in for both baskets but only won one. So I have a new hat that I can show off in the next cold season, one that was made in my cancer color, at least one of them, teal. (Cervical cancer's colors are white and teal; the teal alone stands for ovarian cancer.) The other head, my friend made, was with a ribbon with all the cancer colors. Very beautiful. You can check out her stuff at her facebook page and on the etsy shop.

Here is a picture from the sunrise when I got into my car. By the time I got home, it was daylight! I needed a shower badly and then my bed. I got three hours of sleep until the kids just couldn't do without me anymore. So somehow I survived Saturday with the little sleep I had. Sunday, I was pretty soar, but today, on Monday, I am almost back to normal. Tomorrow, I promised myself to be back to running in the morning!


C. Beth said...

GREAT post!! Thank you for the sweet words. I loved doing this with you! And I LOVE your reasons for doing it.