From now on, my Relay shirt will be YELLOW.
My first experience with Relay for Life was when I was a teenager. I watched my Nanny, a two-time breast cancer survivor, walk the Survivor Lap in our community's first ever Relay for Life. A few years later, I participated as a team member and from then on I made a commitment to Relay For Life. As a highschool teacher, I started taking bus loads of students to participate in the Belleville Relay for Life. When my home community of Prince Edward County started to hold their own Relay, I sat on the Steering Committee for several years and served multiple roles including: Activities, Youth, and Teams Coordinator. I have always loved this event. As a teacher, I saw it as a positive and engaging way to connect youth to an important cause and to foster an appreciation for community involvement and charitable giving.
On a personal level, I was not a stranger to the impact of Cancer. I relayed for my nanny, papa, uncles, aunt, friends, co-workers, students and, when I was pregnant with our first child, my husband was diagnosed with Cancer. I have always been aware of the fact that 1 in 2 Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. That means half of our family and friends will hear the words “you have cancer” at some point in their lives, but no amount of preparation or statistical knowledge can prepare you for that...EVER.
A year and a half ago, I heard the words "You Have Cancer" and my world hasn't been the same since. I don't think it ever will be. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast and Lymphatic Cancer and am nearing the end of my treatment as I await additional surgery in the Fall.
It is because of Relay that I called my doctor. I had received a community service award for my long involvement in Relay for Life and a "Thing-a-ma-Boob" was included in the evening's swag bag. While unpacking some boxes, I found the "Thing-A-Ma-Boob" which made my stomach drop - the next morning, I called my doctor to check out a lump I had been feeling in my breast for SEVERAL MONTHS - I was still breastfeeding my youngest daughter at the time and figured it was just a blocked or fluctuating milk duct...IT WASN'T. I firmly believe this little keychain saved my life.
I have seen first hand the advancement of Cancer research thanks to the MANY research grants that are funded through Relay for Life. And through the years have spoken with many Oncologists who have credited the Canadian Cancer Society with providing funds that were necessary for their research progress. I have also seen the importance of the Ride Campaign that provides FREE, PERSONAL transportation to cancer patients - THIS IS HUGE! A Cancer diagnosis adds an unbelievable number of appointments which is so difficult for many. This program ensures that NO ONE is ever unable to attend an appointment <3
With over 15 years of love and dedication as a team member, team captain, Youth Coordinator, Activities Director, Teams Coordinator and Steering Committee Member, my shirt was either white or blue...from now on, my shirt will be YELLOW. I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, niece, cousin, friend, and SURVIVOR.
I’m determined to help make a difference by participating in the Canadian Cancer Society Relay For Life. This is a nationwide event that brings people together to celebrate survivors, honour those we’ve lost and commit to raising funds to fight ALL types of cancer. By making a donation, you can help fund Canada’s most promising research, vital support services for patients and their families, and other important work that could change the future of cancer.
Thank you for helping me reach my fundraising goal. Cancer changes everything. So can you.
-The pictures on the left is me with my husband and our daughters at last year's Relay <3