Cancer does not discriminate – from elderly to infancy, and everyone in between. At one time or another it has touched you, I know it surely has touched me. Relay for Life is not just an excuse to pull an all-nighter or get in some extra exercise around the track. It is celebrating those who have won the battle, empowering those still enduring the fight, and honoring those we have lost. We are raising funds that will hopefully revolutionize the way cancer is detected, treated, and defeated. As I type this post, countless faces flip through my mind. Some are still with us, many are not.
Nearest to my heart would be my Nana. She won the battle against breast cancer but the war wages on. After 5 years of being in remission she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. It was found in her hip during a replacement. As a college student, the next step was a no-brainer. I withdrew from all but one class to maintain my enrollment, packed my bags and moved in with her. My aunt and I spent every day with her at the rehab facility post-op, getting her mobile enough to go home and begin her treatment. We dubbed ourselves the Three Musketeers, and what a clan we were. Nothing about cancer is easy, nothing about cancer is enjoyable, but together it was easier and enjoying the time together was inevitable. There was not one single day that passed where we didn’t laugh a full-body laugh, the kind that hurts your stomach and warms your heart. We made the best of every moment, even in the chemo waiting room which, as some of you may know from experience, is no Disney Land.
Fast forward a few years to today, and I am happy to say that Nana is still fighting the great fight. Unfortunately, that is not the case for everyone. Over the past few years, I personally have lost other loved ones to cancer. My friends have lost family and my family has lost friends. Together we can help someone celebrate another birthday, and that is the reason I relay.
Remember your reason and relay for life.
– Kathleen Doris, Business Development/Marketing Coordinator