I have been awful about posting! This week as been crazy busy! But I wanted to tell you what I did last weekend. I participated in the Relay for Life walk! This was my 4th year walking/participating in the Relay.
Now, for those of you who don’t know, the Relay for Life is sponsered/created by the American Cancer Society. The Relay itself is an overnight community fundraising walk. You can go as teams or individuals and you can camp out at the location (usually somewhere with a track like at a field-house or high school) and you walk around the track. Simple as that. Traditionally the first lap is done by Cancer Survivors, to kind of celebrate or symbolize their victory over Cancer. Then after the first lap, everyone else can join in. Once it gets dark, there is a Luminaria ceremony (prior and during the event you can make paper luminaries) to remember loved ones we have lost to cancer and to support those currently battling it. This lap after the ceremony is usually done in silence.
Some relays have games and movies and themed laps. Some relays have themes all together!
The one I participated in was a Disney theme Relay and I was part of a team. So at the relay, the entire location was decked out with Disney colors and cut outs and characters and basically everything Disney. My team took it to the next level! Each team member picked a Disney character to be. I chose Sleeping Beauty and my friend Gabbie was Cinderella. We made tutus in the colors of the characters’ princess dress and got crowns! So we looked like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella! Then our fearless leader made GIANT wood cut outs of the Disney castle logo. With my photography equipment, we made our camp-out area into a giant photo booth! We had a bunch of Disney props, so participants could “dress up” like Disney characters. They were free, but any donations we got would go towards the Relay and the American Cancer Society.
Overall, it was really fun! We walked, we talked, we raised money for a great cause, we watched Disney movies, had a cupcake eating contest, and Pin the Mustache on the Disney Character (King Triton, Jafar, and Captain Hook). I got to hear a lot of good, inspirational stories.
However I did have a few not-so-fun moments during the relay.
One was around 2am, the theme for the hour was Noise Maker Hour. Why on earth would we have a Noise maker hour at 2am!?!?! WHY?! So any of the kids still awake and kicking were literally running with these awful noise makers! At 2am a kitten meowing would be annoying, noise makers were 100x worse.
The second not-so-fun moment for me was during the Luminaria lap. Seeing all the names on these simple paper bags, really hit something in me. These people were no longer with us or were still fighting to stay with us. I didn’t know the people who these names belonged to, but it didn’t matter. These people are missed and loved, and decorating a small paper bag was just a glimpse of a family’s love for these people. And the reason why this wasn’t fun for me, is because I didn’t want to cry in front of people and because I wished I would have taken the time to make one for my Opa, and for my Grandma and Grandpa.
My Opa had an open heart transplant when I was in grade school. He was fine for awhile, but then he got cancer in his lymph nodes. He battled in three times. After the third battle with cancer, all the chemo finally caught up to him. His body rejected his heart and he passed away. My Grandpa, just went through his first battle with skin cancer as his wife, my Grandma, just finished her first treatment for thyroid cancer.
As you can see, my chances of getting/having cancer are very least realistic.
This is why I completely support and love being involved the foundations like the Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. So if you know someone or have lost someone to cancer, or you yourself have cancer, I strongly urge you to get involved. There are people out there that can help you and support you.