I’ve signed up for the Relay For Life 2012. It’s been three years since I last walked, all night, to raise money for the Cancer Society. A lot has happened in that time; some good and some bad, but I definitely feel I’m in a place where I can start giving back.
The wonderful support workers I’ve hired to work with Becky, are quick learners and happy to take on more responsibility. I’ve finished getting the house ready to put it up for sale, so I have some “free” time! Yippee!!! I decided yesterday that I wanted to walk again this year. It’s such a great event, and I’m sorry to say, that despite the seriousness of the occasion, we generally we have a really good time.
Becky ‘walked’ one year, and has decided to join me this year too. I was talking to her worker today about the event, and she immediately jumped in and offered to come along for the evening and help Becky. Isn’t that great!
The event kicks off around 7 pm with a Survivor Lap. This is usually quite emotional, as the list of cancer survivors is read out, and the length of their survivorship is announced. The bagpipes start, and we’re all applauding as the walkers in the yellow shirts go past for the ‘victory’ lap.
After that, everybody joins in. We walk until dusk, and then a luminary lighting ceremony begins. A paper bag with someones name, a survivor, a loved one, a friend, is placed with a candle inside. The captains of the teams light the candles which line the route of the walk. Any extra luminaries are placed on a field and spell the word “HOPE”. It’s hauntingly beautiful.
A band plays till 11 pm, and then it is silent. We walk along the candle-lit route all night. It becomes cold and damp, and we add extra clothes and blankets, but we still walk. Our feet are sore and our legs ache, but we still walk. Finally, around 5 am, we hear whispers about breakfast. We head off to the cafeteria to find pancakes. After a well needed break, we generally pack up the tents, drinks, and snacks, and head home for some sleep. But that’s not the end of it. Our team meets up again around 7 pm that night for a celebratory barbeque, and a bonfire.
We raised about $14,000 that year. What a great way to spend time with your friends; having a laugh, and raising money for charity. Of course I’m signing up!