Why I Relay: Relay for Lifers share their personal stories

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 ...

Becky Yacano

Planning Committee Member & Captain

Yacano’s Paving Relay Team

When I was 17, my father developed a very persistent cough. He had been a smoker of Pall Mall cigarettes for as long as I could remember. At seventeen, I thought a cough was just something you got with a cold. I encouraged him to go see the doctor to get an antibiotic. The doctor sent him for an x-ray and the report came back as lung cancer. My thought at the time was that they were wrong, cancer was nothing to worry about and that he would be fine. Within 2 weeks, my father died in the VA hospital in Syracuse. To say my world was upturned is a major understatement. My father died the day before his 66th birthday and four days before I started my senior year of high school. My father missed seeing me graduate from high school, go to college and graduate with a degree in Respiratory Therapy. He missed my wedding and the birth of my three children. He has missed every baseball game my children have played in and every important milestone they have achieved.

I Relay because I don’t want any more fathers or mothers to miss the lives of their children and grandchildren. I Relay to find a cure. I Relay to support those who have been the patient, the caretaker and the ones left behind. I Relay to celebrate those who have won the battle and those still fighting it. I Relay to honor the memory of a man that, to me, was a true hero. I Relay for my Dad.

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