Relay for Life is the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It is an event that brings communities together to remember loved ones lost, honor survivors of all cancers, and to raise money to help the American Cancer Society make a global impact on cancer.
Being a participant in Relay for Life is a selfless act. It involves more than just committing yourself to 12 consecutive hours of hope. 12 hours of celebration, of remembrance, of joy. Relay is more than just walking laps and raising money. It is bringing attentiveness to these diseases that are still stripping individuals of their lives. It makes it evident how participating in Relay for Life allows researchers to be one step closer to changing someone else's life. It shows how every little bit counts.
If you do give a donation, it could be a dollar, it could be 100 dollars, it could be a penny. Relay for Life proves it only takes one person and one donation to make a difference, to bring change. I am proud to be a part of a relay team that has far surpassed its donation goal. I am grateful to be surrounded by individuals who support each other and bring happiness to each other at an event that means so much to those impacted by cancer. I am thankful that events like this exist. Events that bring people together, to remember, honor, and celebrate.
I relay for those affected by cancer. For individuals, I know who have beaten and overcome these horrible diseases. For people who have lost the ones they love. For those I know who have lost their own life. It isn't fair, but I am appreciative that Relay for Life gives me something to do to fight. To stand and battle for those who cannot. To find a cure.
I relay for those in my family who have been touched by cancer. I relay for my mom. The bravest, kindest, most intelligent woman I know. The woman who beat breast cancer.
As an 8-year-old, losing a parent to this disease was a thought I didn't really comprehend. It was a concept that I didn't think could happen. Thankfully I didn't, and I owe my mom for who I have grown up to be. Without her, I would not have learned strength. I would not have discovered the passions I possess and now am pursuing. I would not be the same. So I relay for her, and for other children who should not have to worry about losing a parent to such a horrible illness.
I relay for the individuals who are my own age who have faced these battles as well. A girl who I had the pleasure of working with closely as a part of JMU Orientation is now approaching 10 years cancer-free.
Two of my best friends' mom battled breast cancer and survived. I relay for her so my friends have the ability to enjoy having a mother, just as I do despite the battle that both of our moms have faced.
Two other girls I attended high school with faced their battles with cancer, one surviving and one, unfortunately, losing her life a year ago. I relay for them because we are so young. Battling these diseases before we are barely adults requires so much courage, strength, and resilience. It blows my mind the amount spirit and toughness these individuals have had, and I can't help but be so proud of them.
I relay for those who cannot. For those who are no longer with us. For those who are battling now. I relay so that no one else I know is faced with these horrific illnesses. So that we do not have to suffer the loss of another, or worry about the potential loss of someone we love and care about. I relay so that every individual who is put on this Earth can live the life they hope to live.
I relay for a cure, and so should you.