Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fight BACK!!


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!!!

13 comments:

Jacqueline said...

Wow! Thanks for doing all you can to raise awareness! Keep up the good fight. :-)

Suzanne said...

That is awesome.

I lost my mom and sister in law to small cell lung cancer three years ago. My commitment since then is to educate those I know (kindly) about that end result, that I don't want to see another person go through that hell.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

When I'm working at the pharmacy I often talk to people who are upset that their insurance company won't cover the cost of their smoking cessation drugs. I make it a point to ask them to consider how much they're spending on cigarettes--usually the medication will not be any more than a month's worth of cigarettes would be.

Dirty Laundry Diva said...

NewscasterHottie and I are doing the "climb to conquer cancer" here in our area. We are staying involved in the fight.

Thanks for sharing your great story!

mjgolch said...

Just thought that I stop by to say Hi! Hugs and God's Blessings-Mike G. said that!-(It's an A.A.Thing)

chris said...

YES! FIGHT BACK! Thank you for making me constantly aware.

storyteller said...

Yay you !!! Way to go ;--)
I lost my dad to cancer and it's one of my 'pet' projects too.
Hugs and blessings,

awakenyoursoul said...

Nice work! I recently had a friend who within 7 weeks was diagnosed with breastcancer, had 3 surgeries and get to maintenance. (talk about fighting back). She's planning to ride her bike 100 miles to support the fight and I plan to support her. And others in whatever way I can!

Grandy said...

Jacqueline~ Thanks for stopping by, and for your support!!

Suzanne~ What a noble thing indeed.

Jenn~ Funny how smokers (me being an ex-smoker myself) rarely look at it that way.

Diva~ I'm going to have to check that one out. That sounds way
cool!!

Mike~ Hi Back! :)

Chris~ Thank you!!

Storyteller~ And I know how you love your 'pets'. ;)

Awaken~ What an inspiration! Thank you for sharing and supporting!!

Mrs. F said...

I am going to participate in awareness for Ovarian Cancer next month. Not sure what I am going to do yet.

Tina Coruth said...

Congratulations on a very successful fund raising effort. A child pledging to not smoke is music to my ears! :-)

dkuroiwa said...

This is a great post! There needs to be more people like you...spreading the word!

I do what I can...here it's hard because it seems that no one really wants to get involved. Just in the last couple of years have we started seeing information for Breast Cancer and AIDS.
For my higher level classes, I try to find things to read that cover issues and what other countries are doing...it's a little bit, but...it gets people to thinking...and that's a good thing!

Thanks for the reminders, Grandy...it's kind of like that old TV commercial..."you tell 2 friends, and they tell 2 friends and......".
Bless you!
debbie

Grandy said...

Tina~ Mine too. :)

Debbie~ Sounds like you're doing what you can...and you're welcome. :)