spiralngphoenix: (Friends of)
[personal profile] spiralngphoenix
I was reminded a little bit ago that Relay is coming up again soon, and I've been a TERRIBLE slacker on fundraising. (I admit, it feels a little odd to be asking for donations to an organization while I'm not sure if I'll be able to afford the gas to get to the event itself!)

However, I've been committed to this for the last year, so here we go. I'm sure many of you reading this are already familiar with the fact that I've been walking the Greater Exeter Area American Cancer Society's Relay For Life for the last few years, but for those that are new to this, here's the deal:

ACS: Relay For Life
For many years, I did my little civic duty and donated a few dollars a year to a friend when she did the Susan G. Komen Walks for breast cancer. I always felt a twinge of guilt for not doing more. A couple of years ago, while I was living with my friend Susan, I found that she does the American Cancer Society Relay for Life. I felt sort of terrible that I couldn't really afford to make my usual donation, as I was unemployed and a full-time massage therapy student. Then she offered me an alternate solution.

I could walk with her. So I did. A number of folks asked me why I was walking as, as far as they knew, I'd never had cancer, nor had anyone I knew of. Except they were wrong. So I wrote a little piece to explain, that has sadly gotten longer since I originally wrote it. It goes like this:

Why do I walk, you ask? Better you should ask for whom do I walk.

I walk for Nora, my ex-husband's grandmother, who lost so much of herself to breast and skin cancer.
I walk for Nancy, the sweetest customer I ever had, who wept in my arms the day she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
I walk for Skippy, one of the bravest, strongest women I know, who's fight with breast cancer I read about daily for a year or more.
I walk for Skippy's co-worker, newly diagnosed.
I walk for Ed, who sat in his rocker and passed quietly into the stars one night, free at last of the tumour on his thyroid.
I walk for Al, Nora's husband, who not only stood by, helpless, while his wife battled cancer time after time, also fought his own fights with it.
I walk for the woman who's name I sadly no longer remember, who wept on my shoulder the day after cancer claimed her husband of 65 years.
I walk for Dell, my ex's other grandfather, who walked himself to the hospital, the day bone cancer claimed his life.
I walk for Grampy, who, like the soldier he was, fought back and lived another 20 years before old age finally overtook him.
I walk for Brian, who called me one night to ask if he should get the lump under his arm looked at. The one that turned out to be Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He, happily, is still here to tease me and laugh at me when I do something silly.
I walk for Mary, who also had lymph nodes removed.
I walk for my teachers and classmates who chose to work with cancer patients, because cancer is terrifying, and massage is not only relaxing, but also helps to reduce the nausea and pain of chemotherapy.

I walk for their families. I walk for the hospice workers. I walk for their doctors. I walk for their friends. I walk for everyone who has ever felt that soul-numbing chill at the words "It's cancer."

I walk to raise money to support the research that will hopefully someday mean that no one will ever have to sit by, helpless, while this disease eats at them or those they love. I walk to raise money to support the programs that provide hospice care and education. I walk because I hate standing by, useless and frustrated, while someone I care about is taken apart by this disease. With a one-in-three ratio, none of us have been untouched by this horror. With those figures, many of us will fight our own battles with it. I walk because it is the only way I can fight against this.

I know there are thousands of charities and Walks and organizations all asking for your money, but if you have a few dollars to spare to this cause, I would appreciate it. If you can, my donation page is here, along with my Team, Hope on Fire. We all thank you.

(Pre-emptively: Feel free to share this if you know of others who may be interested. Thanks! I have also cross-posted to Podrozny Studio, as well.)
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