See this picture?
I took this picture with my cell phone at about 10:00 last night, 12 hours into our 24-hour fundraiser for RELAY FOR LIFE this weekend.
This year we were at a different location, and it seemed a little more disconnected as we were farther spread out, but it was a success. Our little community raised about $58,000 towards cancer research, and assistance.
This year's message, "FIGHT BACK!"
We all wrote personal pledges to do something to "FIGHT BACK!" against Cancer. The pledges were no more than a personal commitment to make. Simple or grand, the choice was yours. Some wrote pledges like:
- Help my Grandma quit smoking.
- Drive a cancer patient to treatment.
- Wear sunblock
- Get a mammogram
Ty's personal pledge cracked me up. Maybe it was the fact that he told me at the end, and I was feeling a bit punchy, but his pledge: Not to smoke. Great pledge for a 12 year old, don't you think?
The purpose of taking this pledge is that you...that's right YOU can make a difference in saving someones life, saving your own, and making a difference.
What was Grandy's personal pledge?
To raise awareness... and do more.
I don't know how yet, but I'm hoping I can use my blog to help with that. I will commit to doing more to raise awareness. As I think back, I have been trying to do more to raise awareness already...May was Race for the Cure, June had Click My Button for Cancer, and of course last week's RELAY FOR LIFE.
I was trying to do this without even realizing it...raise awareness that is. If I can get everyone of you to be more active and aware of what you can do, and what is out there, then I'm meeting my goal. Hey, your clicks helped raise enough to grant a free mammogram to one lucky woman. See how easy it can be to do more?
It was an emotional weekend indeed. After several years of trying to get my dear friend's mother to come...she did. Her husband battled cancer for several years, before it took him 2 1/2 years ago. Then this last year she battled it herself. She is a survivor.
In the evening we all got together and had our Luminaria ceremony. People wrote messages on bags to honor their survivors, or remember those they've lost. They lit the track and we had a ceremony and silent walk in honor of them all. It is always an emotional walk, but she came in time for this. She began to cry... heavily.
By the time we had made it around the track, she felt emotionally drained, but charged at the same time. She has always kept her pain to herself, but by being surrounded by so many survivors, and family, and caregivers, she realized she was not alone.
As we hugged at the end of our lap, and cried, she thanked me. She thanked me for all my efforts, and for asking her to come every year. She thanked me for the connection she had made that night, and the support she felt. She cried as I reminded her that we are all in this fight together, and she need not feel alone. We cried together...and it was beautiful.
Grandy is a bit tired. She was visiting with Hubby, after taking a shower, and didn't realize she was falling asleep as he filled her in on his weekend. Sorry Sweetie!! After about a 4 hour nap, I figured I would come back and let you all know how it went.
I also want to ask you...what will be your pledge to "FIGHT BACK"? Can you commit to one thing? Something for yourself? I know this is a personal thing for everyone, so if you want to share your commitment in the comments, you can. If you are not comfortable sharing what your pledge is, please just drop a line to tell me you've made one.
Come on everyone... FIGHT BACK!!!