Wanted: Cancer Survivors & Caregivers
“You have stage 4 non-Hodgkinʼs Lymphoma. It has spread from your lymph nodes to your lungs, liver, spleen, stomach and intestines.” With those words from the doctors at EPMC in 2007, my life and my family changed forever. My name is Gary Cahill and along with my daughter, Katrina, we are the Event Chairs for the Estes Park Relay for Life. Thanks to faith, family, friends, the medical community and my wife Fiona, my cancer is in remission.
One of the changes in my life became my involvement with the American Cancer Society and specifically, Relay for Life. The Relay is a life- changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. At Relay, teams of people camp out at a local high school, park, or fairground and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked, although not required, to have a representative on the track at all times during the event. Because cancer never sleeps, Relays are overnight events up to 24 hours in length.
After dark during the Luminaria Ceremony, we honor people who have been touched by cancer and remember loved ones lost to the disease. Candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer, and participants often walk a lap in silence. This year we will have a piper opening the ceremony with “Amazing Grace” and concluding with “Going Home.”
No matter where you are, thereʼs a place for you at Relay and you can make a difference today by signing up online (www.estesparkrelay.org) to start your own team or by simply making a donation to Team Estes Park. Survivors can sign up for free. Survivors also provide an example to others of the progress that is being made in the fight against cancer. Equally important in the fight against cancer is the role of the caregivers. They provide the love, support and encouragement when needed the most.
Please join us at the Estes Park High School on July 23-24 for our local Relay. The festivities start at 6:00 p.m. on Friday July 23rd. Thanks to Relay participants, we are creating a world with more birthdays and a world where cancer canʼt claim another year of anyoneʼs life. We need you; the world needs you. Please come and celebrate the event with us; youʼll be glad you did.