Editor’s Note: As a lead-up to this weekend’s Chenango County Relay for Life (July 15-16 at the Chenango County Fairgrounds), we’ve asked several participants to share their personal stories with Evening Sun readers. This is Why I Relay ...
I first participated in Relay For Life with my mom when I was younger and I had always wanted to do a team. Now I relay for mainly one reason, but there have been many things that I have encountered that have made my decision to relay more important to me now more than ever.
I relay because I feel as if it is one of the best ways to give back to a society as a whole, because more people than we think are affected by cancer in some way. Watching some families in my small town of Oxford dealing with the battle against cancer was very eye opening. Many of us don’t know what we can do to help these families other than supporting them. When a family that is very close to my heart was affected by cancer and my family felt the affects of this horrible illness is when I realized I needed to help make a change in society.
It was the loss of my neighbor whom I called grandpa that really hit home and made me want to do relay. He had been diagnosed with leukemia and fought it as long as he could, but when we found out it was near the end it began to take a toll on not only his family but his close friends that he had. It was very heart-wrenching to see someone you saw your whole life growing up as one of the strongest people you had ever seen, suddenly debilitated by cancer. He was not only a loved husband, brother, uncle, and grandpa but a friend. He is why I relay now.