Search This Blog

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Relay for Life 2013 - A Preview

As I sit here staring at this screen, I have slept a grand total of five and a half hours in a period of approximately thirty. I'm munching away at the leftover chocolate chip cookies that were baked for my team for this year's Relay for Life, rubbing Icy-Hot on my right leg (which hurts), throwing away the socks I wore that night (which have bloodstains on them from the blisters that popped on my feet – gross image, I know), and I'm still wearing the lavendar coloured T-shirt that we were given to wear at the event.

Would I do it all again? Yes. Only, just not now!

Okay, so this is the abbreviated version of my account of the Relay for Life that was held in Brockville on June 14-15, 2013. I will have a more detailed version posted this upcoming Thursday in the Thursday Diary (which I'm telling you right now will likely be very image-heavy as I snapped a ton of photos), but I am just too tired to even think about coming up with witty comments right now, so I'm just going to give you the Cliff's Notes version for now.

I did borrow a couple of images from the Facebook pages of friends of mine who participated in the event to supplement this entry though. After all, you have to have a little taste of what we experienced before I get into the heart and soul of the event this Thursday.

Now, I have likely already mentioned what my motivation was behind doing the Relay for Life this year in a previous entry, but just in case you missed that part, I'll state it again. The last five years have been rough as far as losing people I care about because they succumbed to cancer-related illnesses. My friend and former co-worker Alex passed away in September 2012. In December 2011, I had to say goodbye to my dear online friend, Pierette. And, in addition to Alex, our store lost at least three other employees to cancer between 2008 and 2013 – Darleen from Personnel, Mary Lou from Grocery, and Pia from Deli. All of these people will be sadly missed, and never forgotten.

Happily, on the flipside, our team was made up of, I believe, twenty people. And, of those twenty, almost one-sixth of us were cancer survivors. In fact, since I brought up the team, why don't I post a picture of us below?

(NOTE: I'm the great big tall guy on the left-side built like a football quarterback that has the silliest grin ever. And contrary to what the picture looks like, I am NOT shoving the person in front of me. I was clapping at the time!)

So, anyway, here's our team. Unfortunately, not all of us are present, as I believe that my large frame is blocking a couple of our participants from view.

And, I just want to thank all of our team for coming out and supporting the fight against cancer. So, thank you to our team captain, Elaine, and to our team members, in no particular order; Linda, Carol, Heather, Sarah, Brittani, Phil, Lorrie, Paul, Jay, Dorothy, Marg, Roxanne, Albert, Christina, Roy, Theresa, and Lloyd. We all did very well, we should all pat ourselves on the back, and we should take pride in knowing that we made a wonderful crew! Kudos to all!

(And, I'm hoping that I spelled everyone's names correctly. If not, just let me know, and I shall fix it!)

Now, as you can see, our team colour was lavendar (which is the colour I made this blog as well), which is a colour we all agreed upon. A lavendar ribbon represents all kinds of cancers, and traditionally speaking, wearing a lavendar ribbon shows that you are fighting against cancer of all kinds. So, that was the motivation behind our shirts. You may notice that some of us on the team were wearing yellow though. Well, the yellow shirts are for people who have fought cancer in the past and won, or for people who are fighting and winning their current bout with the disease. And, as I mentioned before, three of us on the team (Elaine, Dorothy, Roy) are cancer survivors. We even had people from our store enter the survivor walk who weren't a part of our team, but really wanted the experience of

One of the most moving things that we witnessed at the Relay for Life was at the very beginning, just before the whole Relay kicked off. Just before seven in the evening, all of the people who wore yellow shirts (The Survivors) did a small lap in front of the whole crowd, and this year, there were over one hundred people taking part. This is just one shot of the survivors as they made their way around the track.

And, here's the group shot below!

This part of the walk was quite touching, and even I got a little choked up during the whole thing. First of all, the walk was set to the tune of this song, which is always a guaranteed tear-jerker.

And, secondly, I was surprised to see the wide variety of people who took part in the Survivor Walk. Most were adults, but there were several children marching along as well, and it hits you as you watch them encircle the track that cancer can strike at any age, and that we keep hosting events like the Relay for Life so that one day, cancer can be completely eradicated from the world. It's a lovely dream, isn't it?

Now, that's a little teaser as to what you can expect in the upcoming Thursday blog, where I go into more detail about what really went on at the event. Among some of the highlights to look out for.

  • The team presenting one of our members with a very special plaque.
  • The amount of money that our team raised, as well as the total amount raised by all 40+ teams entered in the event.
  • Why the numbers 34 and 8 ½ are very significant for me in relation to my participation in this year's Relay, and why the number 75 was incredibly important in the theme for this year's event.
  • The path of luminaries lighting the way along the track in a moving and heartfelt way.
  • The sign of HOPE that was a pain in the caboose to take a picture of
  • Our attempt at trying to upstage Jeff Dunham – Gangnam Style!
  • Cookies, cookies, and more cookies!
  • The one fashion mistake that I made during the Relay (which I alluded to earlier in this blog)

All this and more, coming this Thursday to a blog near you!


  1. Hey Matt... Darleen's name is spelt Darlene... excellent post though ... look forward to Thursday

  2. Is it really? I could have sworn that it was spelled in an unusual way. I should double check...