The Color Country Relay for Life was held in Kanab, Utah last Friday night at the high school track. We went for the openning ceremonies and walked a bit then I took a walking shift from 10:30-11:00pm for my Kaibab Paiute Tribe Team. There was pretty good turn out this year and it was much more organized than last year.
I am not sure exactly how many Relay's I have participated in now. I started many years ago with my Mom who participates as a survivor in the Weld County Colorado Relay. She often feels guilty about wearing a purple survivor shirt because she did not have a long drawn out battle with cancer, but I tell her that she is the perfect testament to the American Cancer Society because she got a pap test, they detected the cancer cells, she immediately got a historectomy and has now been cancer free for 21 years! That's the whole key to cancer survival, early detection and treatment before it starts to drain the life out of you.
In February 2008 my Dad passed away from Kidney cancer. It had matastized to his lungs where he also had asbestos lesions from years exposure from construction work. I was fortunate that I was able to go home and be with my Dad for the last two weeks of his life. It was incredibly difficult to watch him suffer as the cancer sucked the life out of him. Let me tell you, if you have not seen someone die from cancer it is the worst possible thing you can imagine.
So that is now the main reason I relay. We put together a family team for the 2008 Weld County Relay that was in June following my Dad's death. We raised over $1,000 that summer in his memory. Last summer we participated in the Kanab Relay which is much smaller than the Weld County one, but is a great effort for a much smaller community. No matter how big or small the Relay it is such a moving experience to see the love and compassion that people share when joining together to battle such an evil foe.
I would like to encourage you to take time today to make sure that you are up on your cancer screenings. If you are unsure what you should be getting tested for you can go to the American Cancer Society website for details. It depends on your sex and age.