Recently, I participated in a Relay for Life event as a member of the planning committee at my university. Throughout the year the committee fundraised, planned, tabled, and worked to make this event come to fruition. It was a ton of effort but a LOT of fun.
This was a rewarding experience for me, especially because I helped out with the Survivorship tent. The Survivorship tent is where survivors and their caregivers come and their life and battle is celebrated. I think the survivors are central to Relay for Life because they remind us that cancer can be fought. They show that cancer doesn’t always win. They show that there are people who will step up to the plate to take care of a loved one who terminally ill. Survivors and their caregivers exhibit humanity in it’s best form by showing the world that a disease has no bearing on the quality of life, although it may affect the quantity.
The joy some of these survivors had was amazing to see. There was a lady who was standing up and laughing, clapping her hands for a whole song the band was playing. I now think, ” When was the last time I got that excited over something so menial?” This sounds cliché but I do take life for granted. I take my health for granted, and don’t take enough time to enjoy myself and what God has given me.
There are many things that can be learned from Relay for Life, and rather than rambling on, here is a short list.
Things I Learned from my first Relay for Life
- Survivors are truly the heart of Relay
- Cancer is a never-ending battle- the fight isn’t finished.
- A disease has no bearing on how much joy you can have on life.
- I need to take more time to enjoy my everyday life experiences.
- Kindness goes a long way.