The busy life of a full time employee, student, mom and wife

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Relay For Life

When I was a sophomore in high school my older brother was diagnosed with cancer, a common, easily defeated form we were told.  When his treatments weren't working and the cancer was running rampant in his body, they re-tested. We were wrong, they told us, its actually a very rare form, which is why we didn't initially recognize it. By this time, it was too far advanced. After about a year, my brother lost his battle with cancer. He was 24 years old.

My handsome brother on the left

Initially I didn't handle it well, I don't know what 16 year old would. But in my older years I've grown into my grieving. It takes a different form now, in the form of a fight. My brother may not be fighting anymore, but I can fight for him. I have chosen to fight so his battle wasn't in vein, and wont be forgotten. I have chosen to embrace the community that my family was involuntarily shoved into.

About a year and a half ago I decided to go back to school. I want to make fighting against cancer into my career. I am currently in my sophomore year of college, in pursuit of my bachelors degree in Public Administration with a minor in Non-Profit Management. I hope to work for an organization like American Cancer Society, working in fundraising and event planning to help fund the fight. It's definitely not easy working and going to school full time all with two kids and a husband at home, but I make it work. I even sleep a few hours. It's something that I feel very passionate about and feel very strongly is what I'm supposed to be doing, so I wont be giving it up any time soon.

Lastly I've taken up my fight by volunteering. Five years ago I got an email through work about a volunteer opportunity with the American Cancer Society. It was working a registration booth at an event called the Relay for Life. I thought it sounded interesting and signed up. What I saw at that first relay in 2007 amazed me. I felt such a sense of community. It was therapeutic. People weren't defeated by their diagnos', they were proud of their fights. People laughed, cried, hugged, and walked. And walked some more. It was happy, it was sad, but most importantly it was supportive. Everyone understood. I decided at that point that I needed to take part in this event. And have every year since then. (except for 2009, because my wedding was a few short weeks after the Relay and I was a TAD busy).

This year is going to mark my 5th year being a part of Relay. One as a volunteer and four as a participant. It's therapy for me. Every year I get to take a day out to remember my brother. To let him know I haven't forgotten what he went through and let him know I'm continuing his fight for him.

If you wish to support my walk this year, just let me know and I will send you the link to my page. I don't want to post it because I don't want this post to be taken as a solicitation for donations.

1 comment: