My journey to becoming a “Relayer” was not the usual way. I’m not a survivor, at least I don’t consider the few times I’ve been told that those spots on my skin are pre-cancerous or dangerously close to being cancerous or that thyroid thing, no I don’t consider that anywhere close to being a ‘survivor’; not like other people. Although, I was a caregiver as a 12 year old to my grandfather who died of lung cancer, his disease while painful and distressing seemed merely a part of life. Probably because he was in his 80’s and had live a long and full life. My first encounter with the true grief and sorrow surrounding cancer was when I acted as a respite caregiver for children whose mother had breast cancer. When she died, being a new mother at the time, it brought home to me how easily life can slip through our fingers. To watch the sadness and grief of her husband, children, parents and siblings I knew that it was not something I would ever want my own family to experience. Later, a friend was diagnosed at 36 with breast cancer. I remember her valiant but ultimately futile fight; she left behind two children and a loving husband. I wondered once more why some could do everything right and still die. Last year was particularly hard when the young daughter of a friend was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, that’s when it became serious for me. Michaela, always smiling and happy, a girl on the edge of becoming a young lady. Can you imagine thinking you have your whole life ahead of you only to be told that you might not anymore? She’s beaten it, as of now, and I hope that she will continue in her remission. This year it has become personal. The impetus to do more, to fight back, to push back harder, as my brother faces prostate cancer for a second time, after having a run in with a serious melanoma. No, I won’t stop.
I still believe the answer lies in prevention, in outreach and education. Teaching people how to live more healthfully, a difficult task but doable. I still believe that the suffering, grief and fear that patients, survivors and their caregivers experience should be ameliorated with programs that are compassionate and help them survive the ordeal and come out whole on the other side.

I Promise.
I am the Answer.
To End Cancer.
As We know It.
RFL 2014
Tell your story here.

Spread Hope, Go Relay!



  1. Pingback: TEAM MEMBERS – WHY WE RELAY – WE’VE MADE A PROMISE. HAVE YOU? | unmaskingacure

  2. When I was a teen I watched as my grandfather was slowly and miserably taken by lung cancer. He struggled day in and day out just to breathe. Finally he had a lung removed which actually made it harder. Before my grandfather got sick he served in WWII in 1945 where is appeared on live radio. Something I did not learn till I was much older. But I can picture him singing from heaven now. I would like to share it with you all if you have never heard a live show from the radio. I fail at the words but my grandfather is the DAD I knew growing up. In 1996 I lost my mom to cervical cancer, she never smoked, drank or any of that yet Cancer struck her. She raised me alone. She worked so hard as a single mom obtained her GED because a CNA as she would care for others who were stricken with the disease she was struggling on her own. Finally her time came where she was on the receiving end of the care. I do this RFL for her and my grandfather but fail at the words as it reminds me I am an orphan in this world. Even at the age of 40 I find myself wishing my mommy and my peepaw were here.
    I will relay till it finds a cure.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. From Kali Wylder: Why she Relays
    I relay for friends, for Peggy who after beating breast cancer when she was 17, lost her battle with uterine cancer when she was 27. I relay for Kelly who beat breast cancer in 2001, and for Ziggy who beat lung cancer in 2010. I relay for everyone whose lives have been touched by this terrible affliction.

    Liked by 1 person

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