A few years ago, I participated in my county’s Relay for Life and haven’t helped for the past few years because I was just “too busy”…well, I decided that I wanted to be a part again this year so I signed up and am serving on the committee and am a team captain.
Relay for Life is an event where people in the community come together to celebrate the lives of those who have fought Cancer and remember those we’ve lost to it as well as raise money and awareness. Each team this year at the Tipton Relay for Life will be focusing on a type of cancer which we will educate the community about. Our team’s focus is prostate cancer. This really makes me feel good to know that we can raise awareness about this particular type because my uncle Don had it and lost the battle. We are the SOLE SISTERS and we are making strides for the misters.
At the event, our team will camp out overnight and take turns walking around the track to raise money and awareness to help the American Cancer Society create a world with less cancer and more birthdays.
Relay for Life is an overnight event because Cancer does not stop for night time.
There is strong symbolism in this. Cancer does not sleep, so neither do we. Relay For Life starts at dusk and ends at the next day’s morning. The light and darkness of the day and night parallel the physical effects, emotions, and mental state of a cancer patient while undergoing treatment.
Relay starts when the sun is going down. This symbolizes the time that a person has been diagnosed with cancer. The day is getting darker and this represents the cancer patient’s state of mind as they feel that their life may be coming to an end. Just as darkness brings an uncertainty of what the night will hold, being diagnosed brings a feeling of uncertainty.
As the evening progresses it usually gets cooler, darker and quieter, just as the emotions of the cancer patient do. Around 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. represents the time when the cancer patient starts treatment. They become exhausted, sick, not wanting to go on, possibly wanting to give up. As participants walk or run, they also are tired, perhaps feeling a bit weaker and not wanting to go on. But just as cancer does not sleep, neither do we.
The sun rising represents the end of treatment for the cancer patient. They see the light at the end of their tunnel and know that life will go on. They are still tired, but the morning light brings an excitement about looking ahead to the future. Participants are tired, but know that the end of Relay is nearing and that they still have many great days ahead of them.