Monday, February 7, 2011

Walnut Creek Relay For Life

Last year, I met a really cool chick named Jessica.  Not the Jessica from my previous post about gastric bypass, but another Jessica, so let's call her Jess in this post.   Jess is very passionate about Relay for Life.  In fact, I'm extremely impressed with how committed she is to the cause and hope to have dinner with her soon to discuss ideas on promoting and marketing.  Honestly, that's all fundraising is, right?!  Marketing and promotions! 

Plus, Dancing for Dollars now has another cause to support!

I am going to let Jess tell her story in her own words and I hope that people will, once again, pull out their wallets and donate. 

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The reason I relay...
My mom is a two-time survivor. The first time she was diagnosed, with hodgekins disease, I was in high school. Several months were spent going to chemo, getting blood transfusions, and being unsure about the future. After awhile, she was in the clear. Remission. UNTIL, five years later, and she was diagnosed again, with something completely unrelated. This time was surgery to have her salivary gland removed, radiation, feeding tubes, and several hospital stays. Chemo is a walk in the park compared to radiation, and even though I was older, the second go-round was much, MUCH scarier. She's been in remission again for another few years, but life is definitely different now. She has to be very careful with what she eats- nothing too flavorful, has issues with her gums from her radiation, and is still missing hair at the treatment site.
However, she's happy, healthy, and living life to the fullest that she can. One way that we make sure that she'll continue to be a survivor is by doing Relay. Five years ago, we just sort of stopped by this event so that my mom could walk with other survivors. Now, I'm the event co-chair, and my mom and sister are on the committee with me. This event has become something that we do as a family. It's become a way for us to honor her, and those like her. For cancer knows no bounds; it doesn't care if you're young or old, black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor. A reason this resonates with me, is because of just that. Everyone knows someone who has been touched by cancer. Someone we can celebrate for being a survivor, someone we can remember that has been taken too soon. Someone who has given us a reason to fight back.
Relay for Life is a 24 hour event that most communities now host. The event is put on by volunteers, who work with an ACS staff partner to bring people together, fundraise and raise awareness. We have food, music, etc. and it's just a great way to bring people from our community together. You don't have to be from WC to participate in our event, but all are welcome.
The American Cancer Society Mission: "The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service."
If people would like to create their own team, they can go to http://relayforlife.org, search for events near "94597" and click on the Walnut Creek Relay for Life link. Once there, they can click "join a team." If they'd like to help by just sending a donation, they can access my direct page at:  http://main.acsevents.org/goto/jess_hess

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Event info:

Event Date and Time
Saturday, July 16, 2011 9AM
Event Location
Bancroft Elementary, Walnut Creek
Google Map Link

Event Schedule
Opening Ceremony: 9AM Sat
Survivors Lap: 9:15AM Sat
Luminaria Ceremony: 9PM Sat
Fight Back / Closing Ceremony: 8:45AM Sun
One day. One night. One community. One Fight. Relay For Life is a life-changing event that brings together more than 3.5 million people- to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer; remember loved ones lost to the disease; and fight back against a disease that takes too much. Won't you join us?

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