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 ...
Ashley C. Barrows
I relay to honor myself, in memory of my grandmother Jeannette, my grandfather Lou (Pop), and my aunt Rindi, who have lost the battle against cancer. I also Relay for others like me who have been through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and recovery like I did. The type of cancer I had was acute lymphocytic leukemia. I was diagnosed in 2002, at three-and-a-half years old. It was hard on my parents, but with the proper treatment I was in remission one month later. I still go to Syracuse University Hospital for checkups once a year.
At relay, I get to meet new people, play games, activities, crafts and contests. I get to do the Survivor Lap with many other cancer survivors from the Chenango County area and all of us receive a medal.
This year there is a circus theme and we can dress up as circus characters (clowns, bears, monkeys, lions, etceteras). I have been making friendship bracelets to sell at Relay For Life by using the colors of cancer ribbons. The money I earn will help the American Cancer Society work on finding a cure for many types of cancer. I have been participating in the Relay For Life for at least five years. I have five survivor medals and I am very proud of my progress. This year is very special because my family has created a team in honor of me named The Cancer Crashers. I have been in remission for nine years and they wanted to make this relay very special for me and other survivors like me. We are going to camp out, have a raffle drawing, sell hamburgers, hot dogs and drinks. It is a lot to take on but as a team we can do it. So that others are able to celebrate another birthday.
Christine (Stockwell) Bordonaro
My husband Charles and I met May 22, 1992. We found out November 18, 2002 that he had colon cancer, later to find out he also had liver and lung cancer. He fought for 3 years to beat the cancer. In October of 2005, we found out the cancer was in his back. He still continued to take all kinds of treatments but still the cancer continued to grow. We were told on November 18, 2005 that there was nothing else that could be done, it was just a matter of time. This was the worst news possible being I was seven months pregnant with our child and November 18 was also my husband’s 50th birthday.
On December 20, 2005 at 8:45 p.m., God called my husband Charles home. After three years of fighting, he was finally in peace and free of pain. Our daughter Kathleen was born January 19, 2006. I am doing the Relay for Life in Loving Memory of my Husband, and to teach our daughter that it is important to remember her Daddy in this way and to help raise money so that a cure can be found and others can be helped. I pray that God will work through us and show others that just because your loved one is taken from you because of cancer, it doesn’t mean that God doesn’t love you or want great things for your life. God has truly blessed me with thirteen years with my husband and blessed me with a beautiful daughter who shows me every day that I am blessed.
I pray that we are able to help others and show them that, even after the death of a loved one, that Life Goes On and you can be happy and blessed.
Acts 20:35 (KJV)
I have shown you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Because it seems like cancer has taken over everywhere….
I have lost an aunt, and my very best friend’s mother. A very good friend who was very young and left three little kids behind. My brother-in-law has lost a brother and sister, and has another sister fighting it. My girlfriend’s niece is fighting – she is so young and has 2 little boys. I have had two neighbors die from it, two neighbors fighting it. My son-in-law’s grandmother has fought breast cancer twice now. My husband’s brother and his wife are both fighting it right now. Another friend lost her father. And many more in my town that have died or are fighting. It is a very scary thing.
Every time you turn around there is someone else fighting, or dying.
It scares me and I wish and pray for a cure all the time. I help in any way that I can, to hopefully hear some day there is a medication or something that will cure it, or a medication that can prevent it from killing.
It is just too sad to think about.