An event that raises funds and awarness for the American Cancer Society
Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society’s signature activity. It offers everyone in a community an opportunity to participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns … see full wiki
Just last weekend, I participated in my fourth Relay for Life, my second one as a Team Captain for my team. I have known Relay for Life to be one of the strongest most empowering events that I have participated in throughout my time fighting cancer, and surprsingly, each year out does the last! Losing a parent to cancer, I've been motivated to stay involved, and Relay for Life allows me each time to do just that in a postive and hopeful way.
Here are three reasons that keep my coming back everytime.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
Probably the aspect I love the most about Relay for Life is how it brings an entire cancer community together. For somebody who has dealt with the disease, I know that the experience can seem rather lonely at many times throughout diagnosis, treatment, and coping. So to see an entire field full of countless familes, organizations, professionals and resources gather with an interest to unite together is such a relief and joy to me each and everytime I see it.
ANYBODY CAN HELP, CANCER AFFECTED OR NOT
I know that sometimes, philanthropy events come off as intimidating. You either have to donate a whole lot of money or participate in some extreme manner to feel like you've made a difference. But with RFL, there are so many ways to become part of the movement. Some people come to walk the track, which is the sole purpose of the event. Other people participate in the teams' fundraisers by purchasing things like food, raffle tickets, clothes, and auction items. Since all money generated at the event goes to the same place, people generally tend to support as many teams as they can. Some people just come and enjoy the company of others for the day - and sometimes, as I learned this past weekend, that's all people really need in this fight.
You know that feeling that alot of people felt when Obama became president? The kind of feeling that makes you kind of smile inside as your body stands tall? It's that kind of feeling that there is a voice saying things are going to be okay, even in situations where good doesn't even seem possible. Well, that kind of feeling is something that I feel everytime at RFL. It's the reason that I do it again and again, each and every year. When the sun goes down, they hold was is called a Luminaria, where hundreds of candles are lit in honor of people who have been lost to cancer. It's an amazing moment where you realize that while many people are dying, a community is not forgetting what is at hand: the need for a cure. To know how focused a community can be on remembering those we've lost as well as fight for what needs to happen gives me hope. Lots of it. Enough to make my own difference.
You don't have to be affected by cancer to feel like you are part of Relay for Life. There are limitless ways to give your time and effort to the event. You don't have to be a doctor to make somebody feel cured, and you don't have to be ballin' rich to make somebody feel supported. You can be yourself and you'll find your way.