As some of you know, Mom my died about 2 ½ years ago from Pancreatic cancer. I’m trying to do something about cancer by participating in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life event right here in my community. This might not sound like much. Frankly, I wasn’t really sure what I was getting into the first time when I did this last year. As I walked last year, the thought crossed my mind as to "why". Why was I walking around a track to stop cancer? In the beginning, it just seemed like something I could do to honor the memory of my Mom. Being there with her before she died and seeing her watch the survivor lap when she walked in the relay was a big deal and meant a lot to me, so I figured Relay for Life was a good place to start.
Come on: if you think about it for too long, walking in circles seems a bit silly. Hundreds of people were walking, hoping to do something about a disease with a ridiculous impact on people's lives. As my son and I walked, we talked about what he and I could really do to cure cancer. We aren't researchers, we aren't doctors, so we figured that about all he and I could do would be to raise awareness, raise money and love people with the disease. My son is smart. (He gets it from my wife). But still, walking seemed kind of insignificant for me against such a huge problem. Cancer is so big sometimes, it makes me feel small and helpless against it - just like poverty, famine and AIDS.
At about 9:30 in the walk, they had the luminary lap. All around the 1/4 mile track were paper-bag luminaries, each dedicated to a cancer survivor or in memory of someone who lost the battle. They killed all the lights on the track as the candles glowed, gave some time for reflection. They ended the time with a lap of silence, led by a bagpiper playing Amazing Grace, the same song the bagpiper played at my Mom's funeral. As I walked around the track thinking of my Mom's battle with cancer, my Dad's battle with cancer, the hugeness of the impact of this disease, and my Mom's death, I lost it and started sobbing. It was in that moment I think I really got why I was walking around a track. In the bigness of cancer, I could either be powerless against it, or I could walk, doing something is better than nothing. In my walking, somehow I figured out what I was walking and why I would do it again.
I remember walking in this with my Mom in the Relay for Life and what a huge deal it was then for her. For me, it was just walking with my Mom. Relay For Life is about celebration, remembrance, and hope. By participating, I am honoring cancer survivors, paying tribute to the lives we've lost to the disease, and raising money to help fight it.
I’m working to have two types of laps added to the Relay for Life (but not getting much support)
· The Taser Lap - where every team that does not have representation on track has to select one person to be zapped with a taser gun.
· The iPod Lap - Everyone wears an iPod and sings their song loudly as they walk around the track, oblivious to how bad they sound.
Please help support me in this important cause by making a donation. It is faster and easier than ever to support me by making a secure, tax-deductible donation online using the link below. If you would prefer, you can send your contribution to the mailing address listed below.
Whatever you can give will help - it all adds up! I really appreciate your support and will keep you posted on my progress.
To make a donation online, visit the page for my whole family here
(Disclaimer: I’m sure that you give generously of your time, talents and resources in many places. Please feel no obligation either personally or professionally to donate to this).
The event is taking place in two weeks and basically involves myself, my family and my team walking for 24 hours to raise money.
Thanks in advance for your support! Feel free to call me if you have any questions or suggestions.