Monday, April 12, 2010

Gwinnett Relay for Life 2010

“Relay for Life” – what’s that? Isn’t that some sort of 10K race for charity? Oh, it’s for cancer victims? Well, I suppose that’s a good cause, though I don’t personally care all that much since I’m in perfect health and my family has no history of cancer. I don’t even know of anybody who’s fighting cancer. So, if you don’t mind, I’ve got lots of other things to take care of . . . .
Yeah, I’d say that would have pretty much summed up my attitude about cancer 2 years ago. To me, cancer was something that other people got, mostly due to family history of cancer, poor diet, a stressful job, or living too close to power lines. Given that I was clean on all of these counts, I figured “no way” was that in my future. Quite honestly, I had never even heard of Relay for Life back then.

Looking back, it was likely that same arrogance that led me to believe for almost a year that the bulge on my outer left thigh was simply a “big muscle”. Then came the shocking diagnosis: Myxoid Liposarcoma. A further review of my biopsy slides indicated the presence of the Round Cell component, which made my case “high-grade”. Because of the size of my tumor and the “high-grade” characteristic of the cells, my cancer was classified as Stage III. According to some sources, only about 1 in 400,000 people annually are diagnosed with my condition, yet somehow I drew the unlucky short straw here. It just goes to show that anyone (regardless of living conditions or pedigree) can become a cancer patient.

So, why do I Relay? Here are my main reasons:
  1. I relay to honor and support my fellow brothers/sisters with cancer.
  2. I relay in memory of those who have been taken by cancer.
  3. I relay to raise cancer awareness as truly “sarcoma knows no borders”.
  4. I relay to help find a cure.
Please support my efforts by making a donation to my Relay for Life team (or in case your email client is hiding these links). Your donations go to the American Cancer Society (ACS) are tax-deductable. Click here to see how the ACS uses your donations. 

Incidentally, the Gwinnett Relay for Life Event (which is the largest such Relay event in the world), will be on Friday, May 7, or just a few short weeks away.  So, if you can, please make a donation by that time.  (And if you've already made a contribution to Holly, I thank you as this "counts" towards our team goal.)

Thank you for your consideration and support!

Holly and Dave at Gwinnett Relay for Life 2009 (click to enlarge)