What can you do?

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents the hope that those lost to cancer will never be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day cancer will be eliminated.

What I'm doing to support cancer research and why...

Life changed irrevocably in 2001 when a brain tumor was discovered in my husband. It changed for all of us. Keith most of all, but also for Keli and for me. But this isn't a post about that.

This is a post about what we're doing in the fight against the disease. Because those irrevocable changes could have made us toss our hands in the air and say "Why us?" and shake our fists and cry. Cancer could have made us bitter and angry in a way that had us close ourselves off from people and life and illness in others. But it didn't. And it's my belief that we need to get that word out there and share it with people because in my opinion, the work that we have done to fight cancer and to support cancer research and the American Cancer Society (That's the ACS to you Wes...) has not only helped us heal a part of our hearts that was sick and broken, but is continuing to do so.

So this is my list of what I'm doing to help fight cancer:

  • Captain of Relay team four years running... (our team rocks and I have great assistance in my co-captain, though)

  • Chair of Online Fundraising for local Relay for two years

  • Chair of Online Fundraising for neighboring Relay this year

  • Chair of Registration for local Relay last year and helping out with that committee again this year (we don't technically have a chair this year so I'll do what I can while going bugnuts with everything else that's happening)

  • Fundraising up the wazoo... knitting and crocheting for the Relay fundraising craft fair that takes place in the winter; making and selling truffles; a three-day hot dog/brat stand every summer in which proceeds go to Relay; running/walking my butt off and asking for donations for those miles; selling antenna ribbons, rubber bracelets and anything else we can think of; springtime garage sale where we sell everything we can find in the house that isn't nailed down and isn't needed.

  • Writing this blogsite where I try to get out information and inspiration to people to help them get some word on the ACS mission and so they know about Relay, too. It's also a little bit of a tribute to those who are fighting or have fought the battle.

  • Advocacy... I belong to ACS CAN. ACS CAN is dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major public health problem through voter education and issue campaigns aimed at influencing candidates and lawmakers to support laws and policies that will help people fight cancer. I do email, letter-writing and telephone campaigns to my congress people when important issues come up.

  • When we get close to Relay if our monetary goal is close but not quite met, we'll toss in the extra. Somehow I don't think I'll be close enough for that this year!

  • Since the last Relay, I've run or walked approximately 600 miles for the cause... This makes me smile. I wish it were more, but I'm glad it's over the "500". :)

I'm sure more things will come to me over the coming days and I'll have to jump back on here and add them. :) It won't be the last time you see this list.

Katrina and gas prices are killing us this year. Donations are down. Team recruitment is way behind. Goals will not be met in many areas. Help us out if you can.

I want a cure found for all types of cancer before another friend is taken from me. I want them to find the answer for Butch and his esophagus/throat cancer. Because my heart is breaking. I want them to find the answer for Tom and his stage four lung cancer that was earlier just in his colon and was removed and was gone... Because my heart is breaking. I want them to find the answer for Jerry and his nonhodgins lymphoma so he doesn't have to see a return of it a third time after this round of treatment makes him better. Because my heart is breaking. I want to see Colleen's dad get a cure for his brain tumor. I want to see little Grant T hit many home runs in his lifetime and not have to suffer with treatments and shots much longer. And I don't want the family who loves him to lose him. Because truly my heart is breaking.

So now my question is this: You have family, friends and people who are very close to you who are fighting or have fought this beast. You have lost someone you loved deeply to the pain and anguish that is cancer. Will you toss a few dollars toward more research this year? Maybe you already have. Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my bruised and battered heart. If you can give a few more, I would be eternally grateful.

Please find a way to give up a few latte's over the course of the next month and pitch that money into a cup to donate to ACS and the Relay. You don't have to give it to me or even my team. There are lots of teams who could use the donation. :) Just give. Smooches. *sniffle* I gotta get to bed.

Relay For Life... It's about being a community that takes up the fight...

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