Relay is chance to aid in fight

Published 2:25 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The annual Relay for Life event is planned for this weekend — just as I celebrate an annual day of remembrance in my own life.
Four years ago this month, I was diagnosed with cancer. Those words spoken to me that day were among the most distressing I’d ever heard. I was scared, confused and anxious about what might be in store for my life and my health because of those words.
Thankfully, I had the best care I could have hoped for in the situation. Two doctors right here in Brewton took care of me through testing, surgery and treatment — and holding my hand all the while.
Thankfully, my cancer was the variety that was most easily treated through surgery and a little follow up radiation and I am thankful for that fact.
I can’t help but think that part of the reason my cancer was treated and eradicated so successfully has something to do with all the years of research, testing and study in the fight against cancer by professionals around the world. That testing, study and research is made possible — in part — by the funds raised through events just like the Relay for Life event planned here Saturday.
For several years, this event has provided fun for those who attend and for those who work hard to raise funds in advance of the special day.
Putting  fun aside, one of the most inspirational parts of the day is the beginning.
The first thing that happens each year at the Relay for Life event is the Survivors Lap — an activity that will have everyone clapping and crying in unison. Survivors as well as spectators can appreciate what it means to be able to walk around the track and proclaim life — a life made possible because someone cared to help.
It’s been said many times that everyone has been touched by cancer — either themselves or a family member or friend. Cancer is no respecter of persons and doesn’t care who it touches. Before my diagnosis, I know that cancer had already made an appearance in my life by hitting my aunt and a handful of my friends. I’m sure many people in our community would have similar stories of how cancer has hit a little too close to home for them as well.
This year, whether you’re on a Relay team or not, you have a chance to help. By attending Saturday’s event, you’ll have opportunities to purchase items that will help with raising funds by the teams who are participating. I’m sure — as in years past — those teams will be selling snacks and drinks, chances on wonderful prizes, knick-knacks and who knows what else. I’m pretty sure they’d even accept a straight-out donation as well.
Take a moment this weekend and attend the Relay for Life for just a little while. Chances are when you get there; you won’t want to leave until it’s over.
Look for me Saturday. I plan to take a stroll around the track in the Survivors Lap — again.