Relay for LIfe

Today a friend of mine got some bad news. She's been fighting her third bout with breast cancer for years now, and the latest scans came back not so good. It's on the bone again, and there's small growth in the existing tumors. It's back to radiation for her.

She's just one of my friends battling cancer. You know who else?

The kind and funny man who sings next to me in choir.
Macie's partner, Gail.
The taciturn alto in the next row.
My stepfather.

That's just this year. THIS YEAR. Know who else is fighting or has fought cancer?

Kiddo's Sunday School teacher.
The mother of Kiddo's friend.
Kiddo's former babysitter.
The wife of a dear friend.
More friends than I can name.
My stepmother.

And we won't even talk about the fathers, sisters, mothers, cousins, grandparents, brothers, children, friends and others whom we've lost. Without even looking at my address book, I can name three people who've lost their fathers in the past ten years to cancer. One of my team members lost both parents, her brother and her son, all to cancer.

I look at the calendar, and I see my team has less than a month to go and we've barely raised one-third of our goal. I personally have raised only $70, not including team money. This is not good.

And I've temporarily lost four team members - Macie and Gail are traveling to see Gail's family that weekend, and Rudy and LaVernn have a family reunion. I can't blame any of them for their priorities. Gail had a brain tumor removed three months ago and Rudy underwent prostate surgery last month. LaVernn just finished treatment for breast cancer. Right now, time with family is at a premium. Bless their hearts, Macie and Gail are raising money anyway. I am walking their shifts for them.

But that still leaves me with a hell of a lot of work to do in the next three weeks. And that's where you come in. I've put this button in the Morning Random every day for months, but clearly I need to be more obvious.

If you have the means to donate, please consider throwing a little cash toward Relay for Life. It goes to support services, prevention efforts and research via the American Cancer Society, real efforts that help real people right now. This year they're kicking off the largest national cancer study that's ever taken place, following tens of thousands of people from all walks of life for years. I'm participating in it. But it needs support.

Stop and think for a moment. Who do you know who fought cancer? Who do you know who's died of it? If you can't name someone, I'd send YOU money, if I had any. It touches every one of us. Think of that person, and consider if you have even $10 to spare for cancer research.

Thank you for your time and attention. Know that I deeply value both, and remain ever grateful for my blessings of such wonderful friends.