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Each day when I take my medicine and see my scars I am reminded that I have had cancer. Every few months when I visit the lab and my oncologist I am reminded that I have had cancer.
Each year, usually in April or May, I am again reminded that I have had cancer. This is a reminder that comes not only to me but also to hundreds of others who have had cancer. This reminder is different, however, because it comes as a celebration and I am one of those being celebrated.
Each year the Relay for Life evening touches me profoundly. It is amazing to walk the survivor lap with folks of all ages. I don’t know where to look as I walk because I want to take it all in.
There are the luminaries with so many familiar names, the other survivors – young and old, the helpers who get everything ready, the teams who work all year to raise money, and those who come to applaud and sometimes cry. When the families join in the walk, I am surprised to see everyone who has been touched by cancer.
The night of Relay for Life, I was excited to see how many young people are involved with Relay through their schools and churches. This is the energy and excitement that makes the evening so much fun and ensures that it will continue to be successful for years to come. I know this involvement does not happen by chance. Folks are working around the calendar to recruit and encourage participation. Their efforts have paid off.
I could not possibly name all the people who work to make these events successful, but I know you know who you are.
Thank you for the delicious survivors’ dinner, all the goodies and for the evening events that allowed me to walk with my fellow survivors at the Relay for Life. The 2008 T-shirts, pins and sashes are my new reminders that I have had cancer, but they also remind me that I am a survivor.
Thanks to all of you who have given generously of your time to make this year’s Relay so special. I know it is a labor of genuine love and concern. Once again it touched my heart.