Are you a survivor, a caregiver, someone living with cancer today?
You are invited to a Survivor Celebration of Life.
Friday, June 14, 2013
You are the REASON for Relay For Life!
Please come and allow us the privilege of celebrating and honoring you for the journey you have taken. You will give our participants strength and hope to “Walk for You” throughout the night. We have a wonderful committee to welcome you and ensure your comfort, while rejoicing and paying tribute to all of you during your stay with us.
Check in time starts at 5PM, name call will start at 6:45 prior to opening ceremonies and the walking of the Survivor Lap will be between 7:15 and 7:25. Food and refreshments are available for your enjoyment and rides available for the Survivor lap at 7:15PM.
We encourage you to take this walk or ride with your caregivers and families at your side.
Sharing time and working with others in this event can be a very fulfilling experience.
We, therefore, encourage you to consider taking part in our relay event through volunteering.
Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns.
Best Regards and hugs
Rose Marie Bowen
Relay For Life Survivor Chairperson 2013
Why I Relay
A Survivor’s Story
by Caramel Selfe
I want to share this with you….
In 2003, I was diagnosed with eye cancer or choroidal melanoma. I had surgery to remove my right eye which contained a large tumour that looked somewhat like an small embryo. Cancer is not common in my family so this was a huge shock. I had never had any issues with my eyes or serious illness it was a shock to be dealing with this. I was told that due to the size and location of the tumour my only option was to remove m y eye. I went through many challenges after surgery. I had to relearn to walk, drive and do all things which most people take for granted since I was left with only one eye. I did not have the confidence to drive myself for nearly six months after the surgery. I had to deal with my new reality of singular vision. I learned to give myself extra space when walking or driving just about anything. I still struggle with some stuff today. When I am in a crowded room, I am uncomfortable since my vision is different than most people. I feel claustrophobic since to me the people look much closer. I always walk with someone on my right since I can’t see my right side. I turn my head a lot more to see. But I’m alive and healthy.
I remember the first Relay that I attended in Alliston. The Relay Committee/Family makes you feel really special. When I was undergoing my surgery and recovery , I felt very alone in my journey. Especially since my cancer is so uncommon. Right from registering as a survivor to the survivor walk, everyone at the Relay make you feel wonderful and happy. Many people think that the Relay is a sad event but it’s not. Yes, there is a lot of sadness for the people who are not with us. Our family and friends are the reason we Relay. To remember, to rejoice for the victories and to celebrate the people who have gone before us. I Relay to celebrate my victory but I also do it for the community because we cannot forget that more people are diagnosed every day and we need the life saving research to continue. Cancer can and will beaten .
This year marks my tenth year cancer free. Quite an accomplishment!! I have learned so much about myself in the last ten years. My life is full and happy. I am blessed. I lost my mom a couple of years ago but she taught me to keep fighting for what I believe and that’s what I plan on doing. My hope is that by telling my story it will inspire people to keep up the fight. If you know someone who has lost someone or recently being diagnosed, call them drop in or offer to help in any way. They need your love more than ever. Support the Alliston Relay For Life in any way you can! They are a wonderful group of volunteers who really care!! God Bless!
Relay For Life: My View
A Survivor’s Story
by Trish Styles
“Multiple Myeloma” I’ve never heard of it.
What??? What do you mean I have it?
Drive home in stunned silence.
A quick online, panic stricken search inundates me with statistics.
“Bone Marrow Cancer: usually affects males over 65, treatment available, life expectancy-5years”.
5 YEARS! ARE YOU KIDDING ME! I’m in my 40’s, female, in perfect health until today, I’m not overweight, I eat right, I work out regularly, both my parents are in their eighties, ARE YOU KIDDING ME 5 YEARS??
What about my kids?
You never forget that day, the shock, the questions and the fear. Finding out you have cancer never makes any sense. But this piece is about what happens after the shock. The questions and the fear never really go away; they fuel the quest for knowledge, the determination to fight back and the choice to make a difference.
Since my first internet search I’ve discovered that everything you read on line about cancer is already dated. It’s the nature of research and statistics; anything that gets published today has already been studied in depth and is years old. It has to be in order to be statistically valid. So that statistic about a five year life expectancy was not really applicable because five years after the study newer treatments were extending life more than five years. In addition, a major breakthrough in Myeloma research, the genome has been decoded. That means they know the genetic makeup and are now taking steps to figure out how it operates, which translates into, build treatments to genetically target the diseased cells. In a relatively short time frame Myeloma has gone from a death sentence to a treatable disease, and is by all accounts a short step away from being considered a chronic disease rather than a terminal one A sweep of new agents are poised to deliver what could be a knock-out blow to multiple myeloma.
Research is moving at an astounding pace, I see it every time I visit the hospital. People are living with cancer far more now than ever before. But this pace of progress comes with a price tag; we have to keep striving to raise the funds. Unfortunately the Ontario government’s recent decision to reduce university and hospital research funding by 42 million dollars will have a direct and negative impact on cancer research.
But this is the Relay for Life! What happens after the shock? I’ll tell you what, you celebrate being a survivor, you fight back, you remember those that have lost the battle, and in doing these things you make a difference. Making a difference has never been so easy. Walk the walk, raise some money, have some fun, help the Canadian Cancer Society do what they do best, it is making a difference.