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My First 'Relay for Life' to Help Fight Cancer

Updated on January 25, 2017

Our team is called "The Foxgate cancer Fight Club."

Linda and Tom-Co-Captains for the 'Relay for Life' event.
Linda and Tom-Co-Captains for the 'Relay for Life' event. | Source

Relay for Life Walk

Relay For Life

Celebrate. Remember. Fight Back. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life event is a life-changing experience 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.

A Great Way to Fight Cancer

Last week I participated in my first 'Relay for Life' walk. This incredible event is one of the biggest fundraisers sponsored by the American cancer Society. I joined my friend and neighbor Tom, in putting together a group of friends, family and neighbors for this event. We called our team, "The Foxgate cancer Fight Club."


Tom and I were co-captains for the relay because we are both cancer survivors. Tom was diagnosed with a glioblastoma multiforme tumor which is an aggressive type of brain cancer. I was diagnosed with non-small-cell lung carcinoma which is a less aggressive type of lung cancer.

I was diagnosed with cancer in March of 2004 and just four months later, Tom was diagnosed. We have gone through this journey together as neighbor friends and I am grateful for the support. We've both had our share of ups and downs in this fight but we continue to thank God for every day.

Relay for Life

Have you ever participated in a Relay for Life Walk

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I was so excited for this race and finally, the day was here. Laura woke me in the morning by saying, "Linda, happy "Relay for Life" day." Laura and the kids made me feel very special as they got things ready for the big day.

Posing in the t-shirts for the cancer walk.

Me with nephew Jacob and Niece Ellie- getting ready to leave for the race.
Me with nephew Jacob and Niece Ellie- getting ready to leave for the race. | Source

Even the neighbor kids helped out with last minute preparations. They were decorating luminary bags which will be lit at dusk. The luminaries are in honor of survivors and in memory of those who have lost the battle.

Kids Decorating Luminary Bags

Bridgette and brother Casey decorating luminary bags.
Bridgette and brother Casey decorating luminary bags. | Source
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This event in Hopkins, Minnesota was well organized. There were many events for survivors. One of my favorites was getting my hand print done for the survivor wall.

Adding my Hand Print on Survivor Wall

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Opening Ceremonies for 'Relay for Life' walk

I got very choked up at my first relay. The opening ceremonies began at 7PM. All friends and family members of survivors, sat on the bleachers. Survivors sat on the track and could see the support system above them. The ceremony consisted of two speakers. One of the speakers was a two-time survivor of breast cancer who told the story of her courageous battle. When the speakers were done, the color guard marched in unison. Next, the survivors did the first lap around the track called "the survior lap." The second lap we were joined by friends and family.

Opening Ceremony

Sitting with fellow friends and survivors
Sitting with fellow friends and survivors | Source
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Finish Line
Finish Line | Source

Luminary Bags Surrounded the Racetrack

As dusk fell upon the Hopkins High School racetrack, luminary bags filled with sand, were lit. The bright lights symbolize survivors that are continuing to fight the battle against cancer and those that have lost and gone to a better place. One of the most beautiful moments of the race was the "lap of silence." People walked the track either remembering those they loved who lost the battle or feeling gratitude for those they love that continue to fight.

Nightfall at the Relay

Luminaries spelled out, "HOPE" as night fell
Luminaries spelled out, "HOPE" as night fell | Source
Inspirational
Inspirational | Source

Relay for Life Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed the highlights of my first "Relay for Life" . This fundraiser is a powerful way to fight cancer. My dream is that there will be a cure for cancer in my lifetime. God Bless all of you that are fighting this terrible disease and thank you to those incredibly important people that support us and keep cancer survivor's hopeful.


Incredible Day at Relay Walk to Fight Cancer

My niece sporting her relay shirt in "fashionista teenage style."
My niece sporting her relay shirt in "fashionista teenage style." | Source
My niece and her buddy setting up "The Foxgate cancer Fight Club."
My niece and her buddy setting up "The Foxgate cancer Fight Club." | Source
Survivors of the "Foxgate cancer Fight Club."
Survivors of the "Foxgate cancer Fight Club." | Source
Sister Laura and our great friend from Highschool.
Sister Laura and our great friend from Highschool. | Source
I had to pose near the luminary my family decorated in my honor.
I had to pose near the luminary my family decorated in my honor. | Source
All cancer survivors are treated like royalty. This is me getting a free chair massage.
All cancer survivors are treated like royalty. This is me getting a free chair massage. | Source
A volunteer painting my hand green for the survivor wall
A volunteer painting my hand green for the survivor wall | Source
Twinner and I stopping at the luminary she and the kids decorated for me.
Twinner and I stopping at the luminary she and the kids decorated for me. | Source
My niece and her buddy manning our "spin the wheel" at our table
My niece and her buddy manning our "spin the wheel" at our table | Source
My highschool buddy and I Stopping on the track to enjoy another luminary
My highschool buddy and I Stopping on the track to enjoy another luminary | Source
Our table near the track. We had a "spin the wheel" game for a dollar to raise money for the American Cancer Society
Our table near the track. We had a "spin the wheel" game for a dollar to raise money for the American Cancer Society | Source

© 2011 Linda Rogers

Comments

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  • Fiddleman profile image

    Robert Elias Ballard 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

    Congratulations on your first Relay for Life. We have been actively participating since 2004 and have found it to be so rewarding.

  • Wayne Brown profile image

    Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

    This a wonderful thing because it shows how much we as humans actually care about each other beyond the sopte of anything else. I hope we never lose that compassion and I know in my heart that God will never let us do that. Life is an amazing journey with many, many challenges which remind each of us that we are individuals and also part of the world. God Bless You and All Those Great Folks. WB

  • smithroyal78 profile image

    smithroyal78 5 years ago

    Great and inspiring.

  • Poohgranma profile image

    Poohgranma 5 years ago from On the edge

    I'm so glad you shared this amazing event and the pictures made it even more enjoyable. Awareness is so important in this fight and you have made it quite real but also your positive approach will help anyone who reads this, I'm sure.

  • breakfastpop profile image

    breakfastpop 5 years ago

    Congratulations. I have participated many time sin the Revlon Walk for Breast Cancer. It is an awesome feeling.

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Minnetonka - excellent hub! I love the events and the photos. Keep fighting and stay strong:). Also - you have a beautiful family!

  • b. Malin profile image

    b. Malin 5 years ago

    What a Rewarding Day for YOU Minnetonka. After reading and looking at your Wonderful Pictures, and Happy, Healthy, Faces, I too felt good inside. You make us Hubbers very Proud of You.

  • Tamarajo profile image

    Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

    Thank you for sharing. I have been to the last 3 relays they certainly are inspiring. I really enjoyed the story and all the pictures that helped tell it.

  • profile image

    marellen 5 years ago

    My daughter and son-in-law also participate in this event. They are so proud and its a wonderful way to help the fight of cancer.

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    Great Hub, and look how pretty you twins are!

  • MartieCoetser profile image

    Martie Coetser 5 years ago from South Africa

    Cancer is a horrible disease, but it also establishes strong bonds between relatives and friends and even between strangers. It motivates people to love and care for each other. Thanks, Twin, for publishing all the beautiful photos. It makes me believe you are part of my family.

  • profile image

    Annie 5 years ago

    Dear Twin, great and inspirational Hub. I've already posted it to my blog. THe subjec ot my blog is of chronic illnesses and lupus. You're article gives hope and inspiration which is what I want to focus on. Not so much the science, AGAIN, KUDOS Annie

  • thougtforce profile image

    Christina Lornemark 5 years ago from Sweden

    This seems like a great event and one that is also so needed. It feels good to read this wonderful hub, your photos adds to the writing and I can feel the joy through the screen.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Tina

  • catgypsy profile image

    catgypsy 5 years ago from the South

    Congratulations! And thanks for all the great pictures! The one with the words HOPE lit up put a lump in my throat...that's what we all need to keep going.

  • Gypsy48 profile image

    Gypsy48 5 years ago

    Wonderful inspiring hub, thanks for sharing. Take care.

  • daisyjae profile image

    daisyjae 5 years ago from Canada

    Nice hub, i love the pics. It looks like you guys had a great time. The relay for life is always a big event in our town and i can never believe how much they actually raise for cancer. Its an amazing fundraiser.

  • spotlight19 profile image

    Jennifer Pena 5 years ago from California

    Love this hub and the pictures are so inspirational and nice to see I am glad to know that there were a lot of people helping out and that care for this cancer cause.

  • Hyphenbird profile image

    Brenda Barnes 5 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

    The courage and joy shown in these pictures and the words you wrote cause me to cry in appreciation.

  • Danette Watt profile image

    Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

    My nieces have been participating in the Relay for Life in Michigan for several years as they know several people with cancer, not all of them survivors. As a reporter, I covered our local Relay for Life last year, starting with the Friday evening ceremony. It was very moving. Good luck to you and your co-captain, Tom.

  • Tammy L profile image

    Tammy L 5 years ago from Jacksonville, Texas

    Linda: It sounds like you had a blast doing this. And I know you're already signed up for next year. You are a great gal. I've grateful to HubPages for giving me the opportunity to get to know you better.

    God Bless

    Tammy

  • Steph Harris profile image

    Steph Harris 5 years ago from Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

    A wonderfully inspiring Hub, Linda, Well Done and congratulations on your relay for life, and the brilliant hub that you have written.

  • Daffy Duck profile image

    Daffy Duck 5 years ago from Cornelius, Oregon

    The one thing That really stuck out to me is that the neighbor kids helped out. It is so important for kids to be educated about health issues, especially when there are more people with health issues today than ever before. What a great teaching tool. Voted up and awesome. :)

  • profile image

    Stu From VT 5 years ago

    Great Hub. Thanks for sharing this. I hope you and Tom are all better now.

    Stu

  • kashmir56 profile image

    Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

    Congratulations on your first Relay for Life,a very inspiring hub ! Loved all the beautiful photos !

    Awesome and vote up !!!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Dear Fiddleman-I am so thrilled to hear you've been doing this great event that helps to raise money to find a cure for cancer. I found it to be a really special event.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Wayne and great to see you. Yes, I agree that it is so touching that so many come out to volunteer and support this cause to find a cure. I met so many wonderful people that day :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thank you smithroyal. This event is really amazing. Even my teenage niece was brought to tears.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks Poohgranma-I have so much hope that there will be a cure for this horrible disease. I'll be doing this relay ever year now. I know that these relays in every state has to add up to some good money towards fighting this disease.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Breakfastpop-Ya, it's a real inspirational event to be a part of. Glad to hear your part of the fight.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Aww, that is so sweet RealHousewife. I am so blessed to have such a loving and supportive family. They were so cute that day and made me feel so special.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Oh, b.Malin, that is so sweet of you. It means a lot to me that it makes you proud. I am so blessed :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Tamarajo-I'm so glad the pictures helped you to feel my story better. Great job on doing three relays. This is definitely going to be an annual for me now. I had done a cancer walk for Park Nicollet a few times but this relay felt really personal because it was my community of Hopkins.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Marellen-This is a great way to fight cancer. They do these Relays all over the world and I can imagine how it adds up to help in the fight.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Oh Will, that is so sweet of you to say that. I just told sis what you wrote and she let out a big, "OOOHHH"

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Martie-I am touched that the pictures made you feel part of my life. You bet your family. This hub family of mine is very important to me. God Bless :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    I'm so glad the joy came through my hub thoughtforce. I am so grateful to be a survivor and help in this fight. God Bless for reading my story :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    catgypsy-I know, the luminary that spelled out "Hope" was another point that had me in tears. Even my niece cried as we walked the "lap of silence" as the "HOPE" luminary lit up the night.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Gypsy48-You are so welcome and I'm glad it inspired you. Blessings :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    daisyjae-We did have a great time that day. Lots of love, support and fun as we raised money. It is amazing how much can be raised at these relays. I'm definitely making this an annual tradition.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    spotlight-That's what was so emotional about this event- all the beautiful people working together for this cause to fight cancer. When I looked up at the bleachers and saw all those people, I was brought to tears. Very touching :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Your so sweet Hyphenbird-I hoped that the pictures would help tell the story and all the emotions. Thanks so much for reading about my first relay.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Danette-I bet that was a great honor to cover the relay in your area. Friday night ceremonies are very inspirational and emotional. So glad to hear your nieces participate too. So sad to hear of those stories of those that lost the battle. I so hope for a cure for this disease.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks so much Tammy-I think your awesome too and am so glad I found you here on hubpages. God Bless for all your support and friendship :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks a lot Steph. This relay was definitely inspiring:-)Glad you enjoyed the journey of my first relay event.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks Daffy Duck-It was really cool that they WANTED to be involved. It sure touched me :-) I agree that education is huge and what better way than writing about it and having pictures to make it personal.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Hi Stu-I am happy to say that I am Seven years cancer-free. My neighbor Tom just found out that his brain cancer came back but they caught it soon and he wont even need surgery this time, just chemo. Thanks :-)

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks kasmir-It was such an incredible experience seeing so many people helping to fight this disease. Definitely going to be an annual thing for me now.

  • mckbirdbks profile image

    mckbirdbks 5 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

    Congratulations Minnetonka Twin. What a glowing outpouring of support and goodwill.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks mckbirdbks-Yes, you are so right. What a day it was :-)

  • profile image

    fashion 5 years ago

    Very informative article.

  • profile image

    femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

    M.Twin - A wonderful story!

    I read it and smiled all the way through!

    Congratulations on survivorship, and on your first Relay for Life! I did my first in spring of 2011 as well, and it was a life changing experience, all in good ways.

    I especially loved the pictures included in the article.

    Best wishes for your next relay as well!

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 5 years ago from Minnesota

    Thanks so much femmeflashpoint. It was a really incredible event and I will Never forget it. Love to hear you also did your first relay. Let's keep sharing our experiences, it can help us both :-)

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

    Thanks for sharing this message of hope and inspiration written by someone who has walked the walk. Congratulations on your continuing success with battling this disease. Great story and awesome pictures.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image
    Author

    Linda Rogers 2 years ago from Minnesota

    Thank you Peg-I appreciate you coming by. It was a great event, made special with my friends and family. Have a great day Peg.

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