On June 22 I participated in Relay for Life in support of Credit Valley with my dad and best friend. It was something I never imagined I would have to take part in for the reasons I did. Losing my mom to ovarian cancer when I was 15 scared me and kept me from wanting to step foot inside another hospital again. Five years later, it became a fear I pushed myself to do.
In April I had the opportunity to intern for the Credit Valley Foundation office. This opened my eyes to seeing the good things hospitals can do for their communities to give back. A side I did not see before because I had seen the hospital only as a place where my mom had been ill.
Losing my mom was the hardest thing I have been through and a fact of life that I struggle to cope with. Cancer changed my perspective on life and what I choose to appreciate. It taught me that life is unfair.
During the 12-hour relay – which ended up raising over $140,000 - I found it very moving that so many people could come together on one date to fight back against a disease we all desperately want to find a cure for. It opened my eyes seeing the amount of people wearing cancer survivor t-shirts and hundreds of luminaries lit around the track in memory of someone who lost their life. I chose to relay because I had always wanted to do an ovarian cancer walk with my mom and she got too sick before we could accomplish it.
Relay has you laughing with friends, while close to tears missing a loved one who is no longer with you. You’re overwhelmed with emotions but everyone is there for the same reason. Cancer has affected them either directly or indirectly.
Life doesn’t get easier without the ones we loved and lost. We just learn to live without them. Mourning a loss will always take time, and you’ll never forget or be alone. Relay for Life helps ensure that you can turn a loved ones life being taken from an awful disease into something to fight back against.