Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Relay For Life

About two years ago my Godmother and Aunt, Carol lost her husband to cancer. Uncle Karl was such an amazing person. He was a wonderful artist, a great listener and he was lots and lots of fun. I remember sitting on the porch with him and we would have 'just one more beer' or 'just one more cigarette.' One would turn into three and we'd talk for an hour or more. He was a great listener and a great story teller. Uncle Karl had been so many places and had such wonderful experiences, I loved to hear his wild stories. When Karl was diagnosed with cancer, he didn't take the diagnosis laying down. When he realized that his cancer was terminal, he decided that he was going to enjoy what time he had left. In true Karl fasion, Carol and Karl packed up their Durango and headed out on a cross country trip. He made it all the way to California before he finally passed. Karl was extremely important to me and as I write this, I find myself tearing up. I will miss all the good times, but I know he is truly in a better place. And I'm positive that part of his spirit lives on in Adelae. She was conceived around the same time he passed. When I see her dancing to Jimmy Buffet or coloring on her sketch pad, I think "Karl lives on in her" and it makes me smile.

Aunt Carol does the Relay for Life every single year. She walks for not only Karl, but also for all those people that we have lost to cancer. I have added an email that she sent to me. If you can, please donate some money to help this wonderful wonderful event.

In a few short weeks, (May 16 & 17) I'll be gathering with my fellow ParrotHeads to partake in the 2008 American Cancer Society's Relay For Life. Once again, we'll put aside the margaritas and join with teams of families, friends and coworkers to honor the survivors of cancer and remember those who we have lost to this terrible disease.
For those unfamiliar with Relay For Life, this year we have 32 teams taking part. During the 18 hours of Relay, each team has members who walk the perimeter of the track at our county fairgrounds. The luminarias line the inside of the track and are lit in a ceremony after dark. The event kicks off at 6 p.m. on Friday with the Survivor's Lap and from then until noon on Saturday, we are on that track. There are a variety of activities and foods available and a DJ who entertains us with music all night long. My team sells Cheeseburgers on Friday evening and leis on both days that can be worn or placed with a luminaria. (I've attached a few pictures from last year.)
Last year, with your help, we surpassed our goal and our team raised over $3200! I'm reaching out to you again, asking for your donation. You can help us make our goal and you will support research, prevention, early detection and an improved quality of life for cancer patients.

Any amount is appreciated. If you'd like to honor or memorialize someone, Luminarias may be purchased for $10.00. (Please specify with their name.)
If you are able to help, send your donations to me at PO Box 438, Payne, OH 45880 but make your check out to the American Cancer Society.
Luminaria deadline is May 8th. All other donations are due by May 16th.
Thanks for taking the time to make a difference!
Together, we can fight back against a disease that takes too much.
Fins Up!

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