Friday evening was the Relay For Life event. CT3’s company are big supporters and the employees and their families are all encouraged to come out for the event. We had planned to get there around 5:30 or so and walk for a bit before finding the company tent. Due to the rain, we ended up not getting out there until almost 7.
As we approached, we had one person tell us the entire event was cancelled and another that told us that the tents had blown down and that people were instead going to the nearby dog show. We could see lots of people out walking, so we headed over anyway. The rain had put quite a damper on things, but as the storms seemed to have passed, everyone was trying to get the event up and going again.
At first CT3 and I couldn’t find any of his co-workers so we walked a few laps in memory of Gammie. On one of our laps around, we saw a bunch of his friends trying to hoist up a tent. We ventured over to find out that the company started out with three tents, then the storm knocked them all out, leaving them with the one they were now trying to piece together. CT3 helped them get it up and we spent the rest of the evening hanging out there and chit chatting with friends.
The Relay For Life events are always special because there are so many people there who have been touched by, either surviving cancer themselves, or by knowing and supporting someone who has fought the fight, some who have survived and some who have passed. The event not only raises money, but represents the lives and the stories of the ones who have fought the fight.
There are bald children whose hair has been lost due to chemo, that come and despite their present circumstances, run around like they are having the time of their life. There are old people there, slowly doing their laps in wheelchairs, all proudly displaying their “Survivor” shirts. There are family members who have lost loved ones and there are friends and supporters. All people who in some form or fashion have been affected by this disease we call cancer.
I was especially touched by a group from one of the local schools that I recruit from. They recently lost a student, who had fought all of his life. He was 17 when he passed and I think he would have graduated this year. His classmates showed up, dressed in their commencement garb to walk laps in memory of him.
It was a good night. While we are all there having fun and cooking out, it is important to understand the reality of it. There are people struggling and fighting for their lives. There are ones that have lost the battle. There are those that just need a friend. There are ones that need someone to love them despite their morbidly gross tumor protruding from their neck. And there is us.
I encourage you all, if you know someone battling cancer right now, support them. Pray for them to be healed! Our God is bigger than the disease! If you know a family that has lost a loved one to cancer (it doesn’t matter how long ago it was) send them a note or an email and share a story about their loved one. Help their memory to live on.
Wow. That got deep quick. I will leave you with some pictures from the night.
Ominous, windy night at Relay For Life