As part of National Volunteer Week, my co-worker, Elissa Plastino and I decided we’d dedicate our blogs this week to some of the causes we support throughout the year and share with you some of the inspiration we get and hope to pass on. Today’s post comes from Elissa. We lost a friend this weekend. This post took on much more meaning than we could ever express here. She wrote this post following the sad news.
There is nothing you could ever do or say that will take away the pain someone feels when they lose a loved one to cancer. But, through the American Cancer Society‘s Relay For Life, you can help raise money so that through research, a cure can be found and fewer families can be spared that same grief.
As I write this blog post I do so with a very heavy heart for tonight we were told that we lost a brilliant colleague and dear friend to this horrible disease. Tonight, a wife lost her husband and best friend. Tonight, a daughter lost her daddy only weeks before she was to graduate high school. He won’t be there to walk her down the aisle at her wedding or hold her first born child. My hope is that she truly understands how proud he was of his little girl, always grinning from ear to ear when he spoke of her.
For the past seven years or so I have been involved with Relay For Life in a variety of ways. I’ve been event chairperson, marketing/PR chairperson, and for the past two years, team captain of our corporate team.
Through those years I have worked to educate people by answering the question: What is Relay For Life? Simply put, Relay is a time for communities to Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back.
We celebrate survivors who have fought this disease and won.
We remember those who we loved but lost. And we fight back against a disease that impacts too many people too often.
An overnight event, Relays allows teams to walk through the night, from dusk to dawn, and symbolizes that cancer never sleeps. Families, survivors, friends and others in the community share memories and a commitment to find a cure.
Money raised through this event goes to support a variety of programs and services offered by the American Cancer Society such as Hope Lodge, Road to Recovery, Look Good…Feel Better, and Reach to Recovery. It also funds college scholarships for teens with a history of cancer.
In 2012, it is estimated that more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed; and more than 577,000 deaths from cancer will occur. That is just in this one year alone.
Last year I introduced our friend, colleague and newly-diagnosed cancer patient to Relay For Life. He LOVED the event and walked with us wearing his purple “survivor” t-shirt. This year he will be there in spirit when we walk in his memory. We will work extra hard to raise money so that other families don’t have to feel the pain that his is right now. We will keep fighting the fight knowing that is what he would want us to do.
For more information on Relay For Life, start your own team or make a donation, please visit www.relayforlife.org.
You can follow more of Elissa’s musings at Life, work & all things in between
If you’re one to pray, I ask that you keep Paul Keller’s family in your prayers as they learn to cope without the light he shined on all of us each day.