The Prairie Daddy and I were asked by some friends at church if we would be interested in being on their Relay For Life team. We agreed and although we did a shabby job raising money we showed up to play our part last night. If you're not familiar with RFL it is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
The friends that asked us have been closely touched by cancer. The mom has battled a renal cell cancer twice. Renal cell cancer does not react to chemo or radiation. It has to be cut out. She has her blood tested every 6 months to a year and is now doing fine. We ultrasound calves for this family and have enjoyed getting to know them and their daughter and her family as well. The daughter and her hubby have a little cowboy a year older than ours and an adorable little cowgirl.
We had other obligations when RFL started so we missed the Survivor's Walk and what not. I wasn't sure how RFL would affect me since I have lost my dad to cancer. My mom lost her dad to cancer and my dad lost his dad to cancer. Cancer sucks. And so many people's lives are affected by it.
That is what hit me last night...so many people are affected by cancer. The track that we walked was lined on both sides by luminarias. There were hundreds and hundreds of these bags with a name on them and a glowing candle inside. As The Prairie Daddy and I walked I was overtaken by how many names we recognized. "I didn't know that he had cancer..." Some of the bags were "in honor of" for survivors or those currently battling cancer. Others were "in memory of" for those who lost their battle. We also ran into many people that we knew and chatted. It was a time where people talked about the ways cancer affected their life. We learned a lot about some of the people we call friends.
We weren't the diehards that committed to a whole night at RFL but we did end up staying until 1am. Our small community of under 10,000 people raised around $115,000 for the American Cancer Society. I wonder how all of you are holding up that stayed the whole night! Way to go!