Tuesday, January 31, 2012

What I've been doing

Something that is very near and dear to my heart and that has been keeping me busy as of late...and will be keeping me very busy until April 27th...actually until 6am April 28th....is Relay For Life.

I have touched a little here and there about the topic and how volunteering with the American Cancer Society is one of my passions. If you have been following me for quite sometime, then you know why it means so much to me to volunteer my time to such a wonderful organization...if you are new, Hello by the way...then let me explain.

Four years ago this coming March, I lost my best friend to cancer.

I hate cancer.

Always have, always will.

When my friend was diagnosed and after her surgery and all through her treatments, I felt helpless. Useless. I wanted to do so much. To take away her pain if I could, but I couldn't. I also couldn't cure this monstrosity of a disease that was taking over her body. All I could do was to be there, to make her laugh, to brush her hair, to try on wigs, to paint her nails...anything I could do just to take her mind off of what was really going on...I would do it.

After she passed, I once again, felt helpless. Even more useless. I was lost...I was lost for quite sometime actually. These plans I had after I graduated college didn't seem to matter anymore. I had no idea what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. All I knew is that I wanted my friend back and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

What I did do the last summer she was here with us, was volunteer for Relay For Life. I had volunteered before in college, because I had to...you know if your in a sorority and you have to do philanthropy work...that sort of thing. I liked it, but didn't think about again until after DonEtta got sick.

I volunteered kinda last minute. I actually ran into a local fire fighter who told me about it and how he had a team, and I will be lying if I didn't join his team just because he was a fire fighter. However, the night of Relay was so much more. It was hard that night, during the remembering ceremony. If you have never been to a Relay For Life event, the remembering ceremony takes place when the sun goes completely down and all along the track they have bags or luminaries with names on them. Names of those you have lost or those who are still fighting their battle or those who won. It's completely quite and everyone just walks along the track...it's very emotional and therapeutic at the same time.

After that and after the passing of my friend,I knew this was my cause. Everyone has their cause that means something to them. The following year my mom and I had a team and were team captains, the next year I served on the committee as the Survivor Chair and this year I am the Co-Chair of the entire event.

To say I am busy is an understatement, but it's a great busy. I actually feel like I am making a difference in the fight against cancer. 

For our first team captain meeting, I showed this video...just as a reminder of why us volunteers do what we do. Why we are willing to camp outside for 24 hours do all sorts of crazy games to keep awake, why I am stressing over getting money raised and donations in...sometimes we let these big and material things  get in the way of why we really Relay. So, please watch this video...and you'll see why this means so much to me. Maybe you'll be inspired to start your own team and get involved. 

For more information you can visit www.relayforlife.org 



Britt @ The Magnolia Pair said...

Such a great cause! Im glad you posted this because it reminded me to sign up for ours here coming up!


Peace Love Applesauce- Terri said...

Awesome cause!!

Tiffany said...

Love this! You are amazing--DonEtta would be so proud of you for all that you do with Relay!

~Miss Football

Ashleigh Nichole said...

I am so so sorry for you loss & I can truly say that the pain never goes away. I lost one of my brothers friends to cancer. He was so much like a little brother to me because he had grown up around me. He was dianosed after he fell off his dirt bike riding in a race then a year later passed away. I miss him everyday so I know how hard it is for someone to go threw that. I also do reply for life and the newest thing I am doing is a walk for cancer its 60 miles in 3 days so 20 miles per day susan G coleman is putting it on in Atlanta & several other cities.

Jen Dutton said...

A great post, I am sitting at my desk at work with tears streaming down my face. My sister also had cancer and did chemo/radiation, then ended up with a bone marrow transplant and more chemo. Along the way, 2 friends of hers who also had cancer passed away. She has now been clear for about 9 months. Relay for Life is such a persepective changing event, an amazing event, amazing people and an amazing cause. Thank you for highlighting it. You are awesome and I'm sure your friend is looking down on you, smiling.

Anonymous said...

I know this comment is a little late, but I just now read the post. LOVE IT! So glad you are able to use this post to educate all on Cancer, the American Cancer Society, and Relay For Life. DonEtta is looking down smiling on you! You are such an amazing person with a huge heart!