It"s a Crazy Wonderful Life

This is a blog about my family and the crazy life in the Sims Household. We have 5 children, ranging from 14 to 5, and seem to be going in all different directions sometimes. The purpose of this blog is to help keep our friends and family up to date on what is going on in our lives.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Relay for Life

This is long, but hopefully worth the read.

I took the opportunity this year to join with my great friend Eliza, who is a 2 year breast cancer survivor, and participate in Relay for Life. My reasons for participating were three fold: to be at the side of my friend as she celebrated her triumph over cancer, to remember my mother and her own fight with cancer, and to help in a small way to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.

I did not have any idea what to expect going into this event, but was surprised by how moved I was by the overall experience and how sore I was when I got home. I had the chance to visit with friends and hang out all night, I mean all night!! And I walked, and walked, and walked and talked. The event took place from 2:00 pm on Saturday afternoon until 8:00 am on Sunday morning. There were over 300 teams represented from Loveland and Ft. Colllins and over 3000 participants in this great event.

Each team had the responsibility of keeping at least one person on their team walking along the track at all times. They handed out pedomoters for each team to track their mileage. Our team logged 37.55 miles. We think that may be slightly off as we think the pedometer may have been inadvertantly reset at one point several hours into the day. Still 37 miles is a lot of walking and that only counts the one person at any given time who was wearing the pedometer. It was rare that a single person from our team was ever walking and most of the times at least 2 or 3 were walking together as it helped the time to pass. So our total miles logged should be a LOT higher than that.

One of the most imressive parts of the night was the Luminaria Ceremony even though technically it was a disater. (The music played was terrible, innappropriate and off and on during the show.) This was a chance for the group as a whole to remember those that have lost their battles to cancer and to honor those who have survived. There was a slide show during which names of those lost were projected onto the big screen. As each name played a luminary was lit for them along the track. Following this a second slide show was played for the suvivors and their luminaries were lit as well. The luminaries were purchased by those present at the event in honor of their loved ones.

I took the kids out with me in the afternoon on Saturday for a couple of ours and they walked with me for a couple of laps. We took the opportunity to purchase a luminary in my mom's name and I had each of the kids sign it. This allowed them to feel like they were personally involved.

During the Lumiaria Ceremony one of the survivors gave a wonderful speach about her survival story. It was inspiring and it made me think a lot of my mom. Even though my mom eventually lost her fight against cancer, she was a survivor. She was able to find in herself the spirit that helped her to fight her cancer for three very long, very hard years. As I lit up her luminaria, I was so grateful for those years that she gave us because she was willing and able to stand up and fight against cancer.

I was also reminded that my mom is not the only one who was taken from us too soon at the hands of cancer. My Grandma Pierce also died at a pretty young age due to brain cancer. I decided right there during the luminaria ceremony that this is a battle I want to help fight. I want to participate in Relay for Life every year. Despite the ache in my legs over the last 2 days, I know that it will all be worth it one day when a cure is found and cancer can never again take people from our lives.

Overall, I think I walked a total of about 6 hours, possibly somewhere between 15 and 20 miles, slept about an hour and a half, and thoroughly enjoyed visiting with the other women in our group. I went home very sore and very tired, but also feeling proud of myself for participating in such a worthwhile event.

Here are a few pictures:

This is the camp. Each team is assigned a campsite to decorate and hang out at.

This is just some of the girls from our team. Notice our great shirts. One of the girls on the team made them for us. They caught the eye of so many people while we were there. They are awesome. They have owls on them and it says "Save the Hooters" in honor of Eliza.
Here is a picture of me and Mel. These are obviously pics of the Luminaria for Mom. The top is when it is dark outside and lit up and the bottom is in the daylight.Here is a picture of our trooper Eliza and her Luminaria. She is truly an inspiration.

By the way, as luck would have it, it rained off and on all night. Go figure!!! I have a couple more pictures that Mel took. I will have to post them later after I get them from her.


Eliza Brock said...

I really appriciate all your support, you are truly an awesome friend! I am glad that you had such a great experience. I am always amazed that even though it is lots of work to organize and raise money it has paid off in the end at the event. Hopefully next year they can get it together a little better for the luminaria ceremony! Love ya!

Stacie said...

I love Relay for Life. Every year I have participated in it has been a great experience. I am glad you had a good time, and did something in honor of your mom. It is definately for a good cause, and so much fun at the same time!

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