Why I Participate in a Relay For Life Event
Event Going Virtual - Hope From Home, Sunday, June 7, 2020
Cancer hasn’t stopped and neither will we.
My story should have started back thirty nine years ago when my grandmother was dianosed with breast cancer. I was young and at the time cancer was just a sickness or old age. I do remember taking her to treatments and being amazed that it wasn't just the old, it was the young all so. After my grandmother passed so did CANCER!
In February of 2005 CANCER returned with my Dad getting diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. With my parents that day were four of their children, a son-in-law, and the oldest Grandson, all thinking that our super hero wouldn’t want to agree to any treatment. Doctors tell us that with surgery and treatment, which would be radiation and chemo, that he could buy himself a few more years. My father being a strong man and always wanting to be there for his family, stood tall, strong, and positive and was ready to begin his fight. It was not an easy fight at the start, during pre-op tests it was found that Dad had COPD and congested heart, his heart would not get him though surgery and his lungs would not get him though a triple bypass surgery. What next, the Cardiothoracic Surgery Department and Oncology/Hematology Department had counselled together for best plan which was for the Cardia Department to schedule surgery to do less invasive procedure, after months of recovery came the lung surgery, with a 70% change that the heart could fail. This was not the best of days for the family. By November of that year Dad was back grooming on the mountain with the boys, which he loved and he continued until two weeks before he passed.
In July of 2005 our Son was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Now mad at the world, it’s hard to be positive anymore. The family was told that having surgery to remove what they could followed with radiation and chemo, he may have a year. This was not what anyone was ready to deal with. There was so much anger in everyone, it was difficult to even look or talk to anyone, so I was glad I had canceled our family 4th of July cookout, but just before getting home Gene said we still doing a cookout, right? I didn’t have the heart to say not so I called my sister to tell her I had to un-cancel the cookout and if she could help, of course she is always there. Surgery day came and there was so much support from his friends and family, so many loved him. Radiation followed, every day for months, than chemo started. Our Granddaughter came back home from college, to help with her Dad, our Grandson had to grow up much faster than most fifteen year olds. September 4th 2008 Gene was blessed with his first grandchild, Isabell; his face always had that glow when around her. The joker Gene was he still managed to keep people laughing. He didn’t waste a day, weather it was planning, wishing or just living life for the best.
Both Gene and Dad wanted their families to know their wishes and what they wanted of them, as hard as it was we all made our promises. Gene passed December 17, 2010, after four and a half year battle. Our Dad passed April 11, 2011, after his five year battle.
Why I'm Participating
Gene and Dad both did two years of Relay for Life as survivors, before their health prevented them from attending. I had promised them both that I would continue their fight for them, both not wanting no other parent to lose a child or no other child lose a parent. I have since added co-workers, many more family members (Mother & Father in law, sisters, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles) and many friends as well as co- workers to my list of reasons to Relay. The Relay For Life event gives us the power to fight back. This is my opportunity to honor cancer survivors, remember people we have lost, and help raise funds for the American Cancer Society.
Why I Support the American Cancer Society
Every day, the American Cancer Society helps people take steps to reduce their risk of cancer or find it early, when it is easiest to treat. They provide free information and services to cancer patients throughout their journey. The organization is investing in crucial research to prevent, treat, and ultimately, cure all cancers.
I have signed up to walk and fundraise in my local Relay For Life event. I hope you will consider joining my team or making a donation in support of my efforts.
Gene and Dad I do this in your MEMORY and I feel you there with me. Love you both!
Together, we can finish the fight!