Sunday, May 15, 2011
One four letter word could sum up thousands of fundraised dollars, hundreds of days spent planning, and 12 hours of continuous walking. Hope is a word that the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life keeps alive for those of us who know how devastating maladaptive cell mutations can be. Cancer is cureless but certainly not hopeless.
On Friday the 13th a handful of my colleagues and I spent the night participating in Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society's largest fundraiser. At a local high school track, teams were camped out on the in field with the intent to have at least one person from their team walking around the track during a 12 hour period from 7 pm-7 am. Cancer never sleeps so why should we?
Our team raised nearly $3,000 between our six members surpassing our goal of $1,000. Between all of us, we had lost immediate family members, extended family members, and had our own stories of friends and family who had challenged cancer to a dual and won. Close to midnight, the luminaria ceremony was held and to the light of paper bag candles all relay participants made a commemorative lap to those lost to cancer as well as cancer survivors. We looked around us and witnessed our community in solidarity; we looked up and saw HOPE.