Why do you relay? Why don’t you relay? This is a question I want you to think about. Let me tell you my reason for being a part of Relay For Life. I believe life is full of unexpected twists and turns – nobody can escape it. It can feel like life is against you sometimes and for a moment, you feel helpless. What I choose to do it, though, is to turn those wounds into lessons, into sharing my experience with others and being of service. Relay For Life is an amazing event where we all step up and do something about this disease, not just for ourselves, but also for each other.
The day is about more. It is about believing that there will be an end to the storm. When you are fighting cancer or watching someone you love fight, life is never the same. There will be days that make you question yourself, that make you feel like you’re losing your battle. Your heart will break and life may prove too hard. This day is about remembering those we have lost to cancer, those still fighting and celebrating those who have survived. It is part of who they are, a part of who you are. It is a day to be proud of your scars and overcoming every bump in the road.
Relay For Life means so many things. For everyone, it is something different. Maybe for you it is a day to recognize you are alive, that you have so many possibilities within your reach. Maybe it is a day where you remember the person you were, fighting for a better day – where you look at your scars and think, oh, so beautiful. It is living proof that you have lived. Maybe it is a day where you are fighting for someone who you wish wasn’t. Maybe it’s a day where you look around and see the hundreds of people around you and know the one person you wish were there, will never come.
I relay because of the individuals who struggle in ways that I will never understand. I relay to celebrate with those who celebrate the small victories I may take for granted, the celebrations that are much different than mine. I relay because despite all of our differences, we all come together in the same moment. Relay has taught me that people will come into your life and teach you something you never knew possible – that an individual’s ability to survive and overcome will surprise you. I have learned that who I am today has to do with the people I met along the way.
At the end of the day, whether you have done Relay For Life many times, or once, or never, it’s a day where new lessons are always learned. It’s a day where we show kindness, where our actions speak louder than our words. It’s a day filled with love, not judgements or expectations. Relay For Life is May 24 at LeBourdais Park.
If you would like to register, please register online at www.relaybc.ca. or by filling out a form which you can get by calling the number below. If you have any questions or concerns, call at 250-255-4506. I hope to see you there.
Ivana Topic is a volunteer with Canadian Cancer Society, Quesnel Unit and regular Observer columnist.