Before you start reading, I should say that this is a bit more heavy-going than my usual posts. BUT, I make no apologies for that. This is a topic close to my heart and I hope that you’ll have a read, and at the very least have a little skip through the photos from this fab event…
It’s so easy to go from day to day being busy, doing your thing, and taking things for granted. Don’t feel bad, we all do it! Sometimes though, it’s good to have a little reminder to stop for a minute and appreciate what we have because, at the risk of sounding too morbid, you never know when it might slip through your fingers.
We are all, at some point in our lives, touched by cancer in some way. I won’t go into the list of people I know or knew who have suffered in the vice-like grip of this horrible disease, but suffice to say I need more than one hand to count them.
Last year I went to a fab event – the Lizard Relay for Life, in aid of Cancer Research. I knew nothing about the event before going – I was really going along to support some of my family who were involved in helping with it. When I got there that sunny day last June, I was completely and unexpectedly overwhelmed. As I strolled across the school field and noticed all the people wandering about with ‘survivor’ t-shirts. As I admired the huge number of people who had signed up with friends, families and colleagues to do this 24hr relay, taking turns through day and night to pace the track, raising money for this worthwhile cause. And then…as I reached the ‘Candle of Hope’ tent. My Mum was helping with this one, so she explained that you donate, take a bag and write a message, and later on each bag is filled with sand and a tealight. The lanterns line the track, lighting the path as dusk falls, and everyone there joins a lap lead by a piper. It’s eerie, poignant and moving. People walking, hugging, sobbing, remembering, thinking. I began reading the carefully handwritten messages on these bags, messages of love, of remembrance, of celebration, and quickly found myself wiping persistent tear after tear from my cheek. It kinda bought it all home why all these people were here.
I vowed there and then that I’d be involved in the 2011 event, and was pleased to hear from the committee chair earlier this year asking if I’d like to help. I did as much as I could, and even though in the scheme of things my little bit was teeny tiny, I loved having a part to play in making the event happen. The weekend came, the sun shone, bands played, themed laps caused much hilarity and the event was a success, raising over £20,000 in the 24hr period.
We don’t know if there will be another event next year… CRUK set limits on what you must raise and we didn’t hit their target. We very much hope that it will happen again though, a total like that is no mean feat for a small Cornish village.
Well done to everyone who was involved. It was a testament to the love and commitment that people feel personally to see such dedication to bring everything together.