Saturday, June 20, 2009


There are a lot of causes I think are worthwhile, but not many that I'll give up a night of sleep for. However, last night, I found the exception to that rule. I spent 12 hours (from 7 PM, starting with a survivors lap and everyone walking behind them to 7 AM, with a fight back lap of everyone again) with good friends walking a high school track in a nearby city, in the rain, doing the Relay for Life with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Cancer's a beast that affects us all. It doesn't discriminate between the young and the old, male or female, black or white, healthy or sickly. It doesn't care if you've got potential to life your life as a young person, or children you want to see grow up. It strikes out of nowhere. It strikes any part of the body. It strikes and so often, is deadly.

There are very few people who haven't been touched by cancer in this world, be it a relative, a friend, a colleague, or anyone they care about. Some of us are lucky enough to know a survivor; to be able to tell the story of someone who won the battle, but too many know and miss someone who lost their battle with cancer. The memorial luminaries that lined both sides of the 1600 metre track reminded of us that all night.

Its an emotional beatdown to see that many names with the label "In memory." Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, loved ones and friends all lost. My friends. One who was 19 when he died of lung cancer. My grandparents.

But despite acknowledging the past, the one thing that keeps us going, through the 12 hour walk, through the rain, through the sleeplessness was this:

Hope that we will one day find the cure, and hope that no one will have to suffer again. Hope to patients and their families and friends. Hope that one day, Relay for Life with be history, because cancer is no more. Hope for the future.

And so we fight back. With hope.


Marla said...

Hope is something that is so vital to this world. My grandmother died on March 14 of lung cancer. She lived (and worked hard) on a farm, was active, ate healthy food and never smoked a day in her life. It really can strike anyone.

Thanks for posting this.

Lost In Splendor said...

Wow. Good for you! I love everyone keeping the hope alive. I know they will eventually find a cure because of all the support.