Monday, July 21, 2008

The Relay for Life

Argh, I've been slacking again! I meant to post about the Relay for Life over the weekend, but I guess I just vegged out instead - sorry! The thing is, I don't really know where to start... it was such an awesome night, I don't feel like I can do it justice.

Let's see... First I will go with who was there...

Me, my mom, my dad, Darren and Mondo. Mario, Karen, Sophia and Mateo. From Sun (work) Sue and Crystal. And unexpectedly a day before the relay I found out that my cousin Tommy was coming with his whole family - Tammy, Taylor, Matthew and Landon. That was a great surprise as Taylor is my little cousin who is also dealing with cancer and who I walked in honor of. And although I don't think it was in their original plan to stay the whole night, the kids were having such a good time - they did!

Over the night, we got lots of visitors too - My friend Brooke stopped by to play a few games with us. My favorite PA from Kaiser, Theresa, stopped by with her husband to see if there was anything we needed. My friend Debbie stopped by with Mercedes and Lexus to play some games and bring burritos! And somewhere along the way, my son met a friend - Eduardo - who hung out at our camp all night.

After opening ceremonies Taylor and I participated in the "Survivor Lap" with our special "Survivor TShirts". It rained as we made our way around and it was so cool to see everyone clapping the whole way around - just standing in the rain and cheering us on. Taylor is truly a survivor type - this girl has been through 9 intense months of treatment and she comes out ready to fight some more. She's beautiful, full of energy and smiles and she is inspiring to me. Taylor, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers!

If you have a chance, please visit her site too -

What next? Games. Taylor taught us a card game called "Mafia" that everyone really enjoyed. I could tell cause even when I was napping in the tent, I could hear them laughing so hard I thought surely someone was gonna pee their pants!

As it got dark, we made a couple more rounds and we looked at the beautiful tribute of luminarias. A luminaria is a paper sack with a candle in it and people bought them in honor or in memory of a loved one who has been touched by cancer. As we found Taylor's, my cousin Tommy (yes, we have the same name) said "I wonder where yours is" and I swear I got a tear in my eye when we found it. It really touched my heart that Taylor made a luminaria to honor me. It was beautiful.

There was a point in the night when me and my mom were at the camp alone with the kids. Eduardo, who was also wearing a survivor tshirt shared his story of his fight with leukemia since the young age of 4 (he's 15 now). It is so very hard to explain how it felt to hear these kids - they're just kids for heaven's sake! - talk so matter of factly about these experiences that no child should ever have to encounter. And what was it that they had to say in the end? Eduardo's desire is to collect toys to give to the hospital so that they can give out to other kids going through what he went through, cause he remembers that they did that for him. And Taylor was on the same wavelength - "Yes!" she said "I want to do gift baskets!" Such big hearts.

As for the walk - Darren had a blast. I can't believe the energy he had for it after spending the day at Elitch's, but he walked alot. And he even won a bingo game during one of the prize laps. Taylor stayed up all night and walked alot too. Even after that first lap she turned to me and said - let's do another.

This night was filled with so much love and support, it's really why I say I can't put it into words. If I could translate how big and full my heart feels, you would probably be reading forever. It was a great night. An awesome night, and I am so glad we did it. And I am so grateful for all of the people I have in my life and had with me to share that night with...


Anonymous said...

Hello beautiful!!! I just wanted to say hi to you :) Thank you for inviting me to come by the relay on Friday night. I was honored to be able to come support you and Taylor. I'll be honest; I was partially there for my Dad as well. You are a strong amazing, wonderful woman and words cannot explain how honored I am to be your friend. Have fun at the game on Wednesday! Love you! Cuidate :P ~Brooke

Lori said...

It sounds like it was fun and very impactful. Hmmm, might have to join you next year.