Rose pic 1Hi! I’m Rose and I’m a Super Karate Monkey. I started participating in Relay For Life to support my friend, Lucy. She was volunteering for the Canadian Cancer Society and the event was important to her. Friends support each other. I still remember my first Relay. I was “visiting” to see what it was all about. There were so many people remembering loved ones and celebrating their lives. It was such an emotional evening.

The next year, I was happy to return to Relay and went from being a visitor to a fundraiser. I was still supporting Lucy, but emotionally, my reasons for participating changed over the years. In those initial years, I participated because cancer scared me. My friends were affected by cancer. People in their families were diagnosed with it and in some cases passed away. By participating, I felt like I was doing something to help.

Then, in 2010, my father was diagnosed with cancer. That fear multiplied by a million – cancer was now affecting my family. I wanted everything to just stop, but time carries on and we all go along with it. My dad was undergoing treatment and before I knew it I was at the 2011 Relay. It was a messy year. I was angry and sad. There were lots of tears and much support from friends and family. The Relay community was there for me too. We share in all these feelings and together, we fight back.

By the 2012 Relay hope returned. My dad is doing well and getting stronger. I am thankful for all the care providers involved in my dad’s treatment. I see how busy oncology is; how many people require treatment, how many people are fighting against this disease every day. I am thankful for the Cancer Society and how they support everyone affected by cancer, from patient services to family and care services. I am thankful for my family and friends who support me in many ways through their love, prayers and helping us in our fundraising. No one can do it alone and so I Relay.