I am what Relay for Life organizers call a “cancer survivor.” I did not battle the disease myself. I am someone left behind. I lost my father to kidney cancer nearly 4 years ago. Five months later it took my father-in-law. In 2002 it took my step-mother. My aunt and uncle have each battled and survived the disease.
There is no other way to say this. Cancer sucks. It doesn’t discriminate against anyone. My father lost a kidney to the disease and then lived 3 ½ years disease and symptom free, but when the renal cell cancer returned it was mean, invading every part of his body. Before he realized the cause, he required high doses of narcotics to stop the pain of the bone, liver, lung, spleen, etc cancer. Three weeks later he died.
I held his hand until the very end, trying to ignore what cancer did to his strong, 3 weeks earlier healthy body. I made sure the last words he heard were “I love you daddy.” I hate cancer if you want the truth. I really don’t care if it isn’t politically correct to say those words.
Cancer is not pretty. Cancer needs a cure. Relay for Life is helping find that cure while honoring and supporting victims, survivors and caregivers simultaneously. Snoqualmie Valley will hold it’s 11th annual Relay For Life Event in just two days – July 7th & 8th at Snoqualmie’s Centennial Field.
The Opening Ceremony is at 2:00 PM on Saturday, July 7th, immediately followed by the Survivor/Caregiver lap . A lunch social follows that lap for Survivors and Caregivers while the 2012 Relay For Life teams begin their lap count.
Survivors or caregivers are encouraged to join Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life teams for the opening ceremony and stay as long they wish. Those planning to walk but have not yet “checked in,” please contact a committee member soon. They would love to have you join them. Contacts are Bev Jorgensen at 425-922-8645 or email@example.com ;Erin Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org; Sarah Yelenich at email@example.com.
Valley community members are encouraged to stop by during the event and visit the 25 teams – at any time and even if just for a short time. This year’s theme is Hawaiian so expect some island entertainment. Each team will host activities and fundraise during the entire event. Activities include face painting, quarter toss, silent auctions, specialty foods, interactive contests, bouncy houses for kids, concession stand and ongoing live entertainment throughout the day leading up to the highlight of the Relay for Life – the Luminaria Ceremony.
The Luminaria Ceremony begins at 10:00PM and is designed to remember those lost to cancer, honor those who have survived and recognize cancer caregivers. Following a brief ceremony, Centennial Field becomes a circle of light. Luminaria candle bags stay lit throughout the night as the Relay participants continue walking overnight, reminding us that cancer doesn’t sleep.
Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life participants say all community members are encouraged to attend this candle light ceremony. Those interested in having a candle bag on the track to recognize a friend or loved one can stop by the Luminaria Team table anytime during the day and decorate a bag – or have a team member do it. If you would like to pick up a bag during the week and drop it off at the event, contact Bev Jorgensen at 425-922-8645 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The 2012 Relay for Life concludes at 8:00AM, Sunday July 8th, with a closing ceremony and one final lap – wrapping up another successful year of helping to put an end to cancer and honoring those whose lives have been touched and changed forever by the disease.
For more information visit Snoqualmie Valley Relay for Life.