The Relay was held last night in our town. I had initially signed up to walk with the team from my church because I'm also participating in a 10,000 steps per day challenge at my work. I figured it would be an easy way to meet my goal for the day.
I have never participate in a Relay before, so I had no idea what to expect. Our team's slogan was "Pennsylvania - Leading the way for a cure." Recently, Pepsi awarded a $250,000 prize to the Kanzius project. John Kanzius of nearby Erie lost his fight to cancer, but he left us with the plan for a possible cure using radio waves.
When the survivors did their walk, I saw Sandy whom I've known for years. She's lost both breasts and has had a total hysterectomy because of her cancer. And to see her well and healthy now brought tears to my eyes. On our team were Jim and Marsha. Before last night, I didn't know Marsha was a cancer survivor, but I knew her husband Jim was.
Then I thought of Bob who lived on one side of us. He lost his battle to cancer a few years ago. On the other side of us is Jeff who has melanoma on his lung. He was in Pittsburgh on Monday for his fourth of five unique treatments. He was sent home before the treatment started because it was found he has a brain tumor now. And Brooke and Dewey were their with their 2-year old son who has lukemia. They had been in Pittsburgh for the day but came back for the Relay. They are heading back down to Pittsburgh today for another treatment for their little sweetie.
Before the Relay, I bought a star in memory of Larry's dad who lost his battle before he could dance at the weddings of our daughters. He always loved a good party, and he would have so enjoyed these young men the girls married. But I didn't raise any money for our team, and I didn't plan to buy anything at the event - I was only looking for a way to walk 10,000 steps. How shallow is that. When I saw the survivors and thought of the people I know that are battling, I decided to do things differently. If our team participates again next year, I'd like to make a small quilt to donate for a raffle. And it wouldn't take much arm twisting to get people from work to donate to my team.
Cancer has touched all our lives in some way. I want to do my part in trying to help find the cure; how about you?