Nancy Spencer
Nancy Spencer

There are many reasons why I participate in Relay for Life. The first and most important is because I truly believe that research is the way to beat cancer. I know there are many people who could use help with medical bills, gas, food and lodging when a family is struck by this disease. The money raised at the Relay each year would hardly touch those bills for one person. However, you never know which dollar is going to find the cure for a cancer and make those hospital bills and other expenses unnecessary for anyone.

Another reason I relay is because I have lost family members to this enemy of mankind. My father was taken 16 years ago and my aunt soon followed. They had different types of cancer but suffered much the same. It was hard to let them go but even harder to ask them to stay when they were so tired and in pain. I was by each of their bedsides when they took that final breath. It was heartbreaking to see strong, once vibrant people taken in such a manner.

The first question is always why? Why my dad? Why my aunt? Why? Until we find a cure, it will be why not. Until we find a cure, it will be our friends and loved ones and US who battle this disease with our bodies.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been touched by cancer. It’s a disease that doesn’t distinguish between race, gender or creed. No one is safe. I know people who have lived their lives exercising and eating right and taking every precaution and they still hear those words: You have cancer.

Cancer doesn’t care if you are a nice person or not so much. It doesn’t care if you are going to leave behind loved ones or those who need you. It doesn’t care that you haven’t accomplished what you would like in life. It doesn’t care that you are a mother, father, son, daughter, wife, etc.

Relayers care.

We want you to live a long, happy life. We want you to hold your grandchildren and even great-grandchildren and tell them how we beat cancer. We want cancer to go down in the medical books as something that once killed and maimed many but no longer exists because people cared enough to find a cure. I have seen many survivors hear that dreaded news a second and even third time.

Wouldn’t it be nice to hear other words? How about, NO MORE CANCER?

Year after year I watch those brave survivors make the first lap during opening ceremonies and I choke back the tears for those who are no longer with us and the new faces in the crowd. It doesn’t seem to end.

My dream is for Relay to no longer be needed. My dream is for it be a fond memory; remember when …

story created on Friday 6/20/2014 at 3:56:33 pm by Nancy Spencer