It's the time of year that breaks my heart a little - Relay for Life time. It seems I always get the assignment to talk to the people organizing area Relay for Life events for the American Cancer Society each year.I have the privilege to talk to cancer survivors, people who have lost family members to the disease, and others who simply are passionate about finding a cure.
An observer of those conversations will often see tears in someone's eyes. Sometimes its the eyes of the person I'm interviewing, often the eyes are mine.
Cancer affects so many. I have lost both my grandfather and my best friend to the disease. Last year, I nearly lost my husband.
Part of a Relay for Life event includes the lighting of luminaria that honor cancer survivors and memorialize those who lost their lives to the disease.
This week, I decided to make a list of names that I could put on a luminaria. I didn't spend much time on it, just jotting down names on a sheet of paper as they came to mind.
I quickly needed to get another page.
So far my list has 29 names, and I'm sure there will be several more on it by the time this paper is read. Some names represent those currently fighting the disease. Most represent the survivors that carry the battle scars of that fight. Thankfully, only a handful represent those that lost the battle.
For me, that's hope, and that's what the Relay for Life is all about. Thanks to research supported by the American Cancer Society, the largest source of private, nonprofit cancer research funds in the United States, my long list of names contains many people with a story of life to tell.
Support the American Cancer Society, and the Relay for Life. Do it for the people on your list.