This was my third year walking in Relay for Life. My first year I just sort of showed up and paid ten dollars to walk with some my co-workers on their team. It was fun. It was peaceful. I ended up walking for a few hours.
Last year I tried to raise some money and ended up with about $80 and I walked for about 17 miles. It was exhausting but it felt good.
This year I decided to make a little more effort to raise some cash. I sent out a simple email to just about everyone I had an address for. One thing that had surprised me last year was that some of the people who donated to the cause were people who I didn’t really know well, but who felt as strongly as I did about fighting cancer. I was a little nervous about sending it out, but I figured, ‘How annoyed can people get at being asked to support a good cause?’
Boy, was I right. I received donations from 18 people, for amounts from $10 to $100. All totaling $480. I was amazed to see how many people were willing to give to this cause. Their lives, like mine, have been affected by cancer. They were people from all different parts of my life, from a boy I haven’t seen since 7th grade to teachers I work with here in town. Thank you. Thank you.
As I walked I thought, of course about Dad. It’s hard to believe it’s been 8 years since I’ve seen him. I miss him so much. I thought about Grandma, who we lost this year after a long struggle, and I also thought about my wonderful Young Women’s leader, Lynne, who passed away just a month ago.
These are the Luminarias I dedicated to Dad and Lynne. They were set up around the track with candles inside, with hundreds of others, to light the way for the walkers during the night.
I had committed to walking 15 miles this year, and what with not having prepared myself this year, that was a long way.
I breezed through the first 5 on Friday evening with help from some of my good friends.
And these guys.
I went back to the track at 4am. Somewhere around mile 11 time really started to drag.
Probably because I had walked 11 miles, and because it was 5:15 AM.
Senor B came around 6:30 and walked with me for the last 3 miles, which was nice.
We are glamorous. I know.
So, my team raised over $4000 together. I was just a tenth of the total, but it’s something to be proud of I think. The event raised over $36, 000 in the fight against cancer. I’m not very good at expressing my feelings about this, but here is part of the email I wrote that does an ok job:
Cancer has touched just about every person I know. My father, a strong and good man, was taken by cancer almost 8 years ago. I remember the awful feeling of helplessness that settled on me with his diagnoses. Next week, on April 16, I will fight back as I walk 15 miles as part of the Iron County Relay for Life.
This relay is my opportunity to remember him, and my other loved ones who have fought against cancer. It is a way for me to fight back and gain some control in this war. I will walk to save my own life as well. I think of the children I hope to have someday and I walk with hope that they will not have to feel the helplessness I felt watching their loved ones suffer. I Relay because I want to see an end to cancer during my lifetime
I’m really glad that I’ve had a chance to participate in this event the last few years. My left foot is sore, and my right knee is a little swollen, but it was worth it. I’m already looking forward to next year.