In response to online discussions regarding noise complaints at the Relay for Life this past Saturday, I would like to say that while I have empathy for some citizens’ interrupted sleep, I feel that perhaps not all may have a full appreciation of exactly what the Relay for Life is about or does.
Unfortunately, cancer is an epidemic that does not care who you are, what you do, whether you are young or old, and you would be hard-pressed to find a family who has not been touched by this disease in one way or another.
While it may have been an inconvenience for some living around the Sportsplex to have your full eight hours of sleep interrupted, I ask you to think of the patients and families that go weeks or months or even longer with interrupted sleep while undergoing diagnosis, treatments, and recovery.
Then there are those who lose their battle after months of suffering while their families sit at their bedside day and night watching helplessly as their loved ones slowly and painfully slip away — and yes, these people also have children, families and full-time jobs.
I am proud to say that I participate in the Relay for Life because at least it is a small step to help find a cure for this disease rather than just sitting back and complaining after watching more than one person close to me suffer.
I am also proud to say that we have a four-year-old on our team whose sleep was also interrupted, as she was on the track with us after already witnessing three grandparents and a very special friend battle the disease. Although she was not able to be up all night, she was one of the dedicated walking in the rain and cold, and was up at 6 a.m. for the final lap after only a few short hours of sleep.
The comments regarding the organizers being selfish and having a lack of respect couldn’t be further from the truth. These are people dedicated to fighting cancer and put in countless hours to get ready for each event. They provide support to the teams year-round, and were also there all night in the cold and rain inspiring teams to keep going after spending hours setting up for the actual event. The Relay for Life is a place where we all go to be surrounded by positive people who are all working towards the same goal and just trying to make a difference!
As for the change in venue — the Sportsplex was the perfect location and I can’t even imagine the mudslide or injuries that would have happened if the relay took place somewhere other than a track. I hope it’s held here every year!
To sum up, it is only eight hours of your life and I am sure there are thousands of people affected by cancer that would trade spots with you in a heartbeat! More than $93,000 was raised to fight cancer, and that’s the news that should be posted along with a very big congratulations to all organizers and participants!
Wouldn’t everyone benefit if there was more compassion and less complaining? Why not reach out a hand to help and I guarantee you’ll remember that feeling a lot more when you look back.
In these days of anonymity, I proudly sign my name for such a great cause.
“I Love Boobies” Relay for Life team
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition June 18, 2014