Less than 3 months until this years Relay For Life. I just sent out my first set of donation emails and I am already 1/10 of the way to my fundraising goal. I have amazing supporters. Relay has always meant very much to me. I have been touched by cancer in my family more times than I care to count. Last year we started our Relay team Triple Flying Pigs in honor of my mother in law. She lost her battle with cancer almost 3 years ago. While she and I didn't see eye to eye on everything, she taught me a lot and made me realize that life is too short and we shouldn't sweat the small things. She also taught me that tomorrow is not a guarantee. I miss her more than I ever thought I would. I miss her for me. I miss her for my husband. Most of all I miss her for my girls. From the moment I met her, all my mother in law ever wanted was to be a grandma. She is a grandmother four times over and I believe that those grandchildren are a part of what helped her to stay with us for so long. I hate that my girls will never hear her sing the silly little songs that she used to sing to them when they were babies. I hate that the only real memories of her they will have will be from stories and pictures. I hate this disease they call cancer.
Those of you that read my previous blog about my best friend also know how important Relay is to me this year. My best friend was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Glioblastoma brain cancer. This type of cancer is very aggressive. Luckily she has had her tumor removal and as of lsat weeks MRI there is no current regrowth. She has started a clinical trial this week so we have high hopes that this will help keep the cancer at bay and that her life will go back to business as usual as soon as possible.
Watching her and her family go through this has been difficult to say the very least. She and I have been friends for 21 years and at times have been as close as sisters, with the yelling and door slamming fights to go with it. We lived together throughout all of years in college. Our mothers have become such close friends that they spend time together often without us. Our families will forever be intertwined. We joke and tease because while we were in college, my husband had a crush on her, and I had a crush on her husband. We always talk about how it truly did turn out for the best because as couples we balance our spouses out so well. We had some amazing times in our lives. We celebrated our 21st birthdays together (her birthday is the day before mine). We share our Jersey Girl connection even though we met in Miami. We have a lot in common and a lot that we have learned from each other over the last 20+ years.
As she and her family enter this fight, I have pledged to walk and raise funds in her honor this year. It seems almost trite, but it allows me to feel as though I am at least helping somehow. I know being there for her, and visiting them when we can, and being there by phone just to listen is helpful. I just always want to do more. I want to do more for her, more for her husband, and more for her kids. If all goes well she will be here with me and walking on that track alongside me (and I will probably have to power walk to keep up with her).
For those of you that have had cancer touch your lives and families, you all know how difficult it can be. I am asking for your help, support, and prayers in this troublesome time. It is so important to me to be able to assist the American Cancer Society as they fight to give cancer survivors more birthdays. Please consider assisting me in the fight to end cancer. No donation is too small, no prayer too small and no support too insignificant. I thank you all for reading this and even more for keeping my friend, her family, and myself in your prayers.
For those of you who are willing and able I have included the link to my Relay For Life page. If you are in a position to donate, please feel free to do so. If you aren't then maybe find out if your local town has a Relay and volunteer some time to their event. Money is not all that this is about. It's about awareness. It's about volunteerism. It's about making a difference in the community. Everyone has been touched by cancer in their lives whether directly, or indirectly it's time for us to give back and support the cancer survivors, and honor those that have lost their battle.
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to comment and I will answer you. Or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you all for your continued support!