Saturday, October 13, 2012

Challenges, Hopes, beginnings, success in what ever form

I have participated in Relay for years now- many already know that after receiving emails, blogs notifications and tolerating my asking for donations, many responding to those requests in a positive and giving manner. This year I decided to step it up a notice from merely participating to registering a team. I have registered a Relay for Life team: HEART for a cure..(Honoring-Everyone-Affected-Recognizing-The caregivers).

I'm not sure exactly what I am getting myself into with this endeavor. I do however love a good challenge and it is for a great cause.

I have been approached by a friend wanting to join forces, even suggesting that we use the name I've chosen as they believe it to be a good name. I am currently at war with myself over this. Imagine a tiny version of me on each shoulder each with a different opinion on the topic. One reminding me of the pro's and the other the con's of joining together. The side thinking I should knows how capable this person is in raising money for Relay for Life. It knows that this person has a greater contact base. Knows the in and out of it and has proven time and again how successful they are. That raising money- the more the better- is what Relay for Life is all about, that and bringing attention to the American Cancer Society and what they have to offer cancer victims and their caregivers.

The other less rational side of me is a bit of a whiner mentioning that I wanted to have a team. I wanted to see just what I could do on my own just starting out. I wanted to see if I could convince people to join the team and work toward a goal. With no preset fundraiser, no templates waiting to be used. Simply starting from scratch and seeing what happens.

The part of me in the middle thinks that by following one, I'm shooting myself in the foot-by following the other, I'm shooting myself in the other foot.

I full respect the person who suggested this joining. I didn't expect my first challenge as a team captain to come quite so quickly and be so frustrating in the decision. Flipping a coin is not an option.

Team, HEART for a cure is special to me, even this early on. In 2008 I went into battle against cancer and by the grace of God won. My faith grew stronger each day that I fought even as my body grew weaker under the effects of the radiation treatments. I struggled physically to meet the demands of each day, finding my peace in the woods and along the dirt road that I love. It seemed to take an extraordinary long time before my strength returned. Now I am stronger, now I am more at peace and filled with a greater appreciation of things around me and of the people that I know as family and friends. They know of my past battle, they know of my feelings for the things around me, they know my faith and they know my thoughts and feelings for Relay.

My hope was to see HEART for a cure be a success. That is still my hope. I have ideas that I would like to explore in the planning, in the putting into action and hoped for success. It was my hope to see the events I was contemplating be events that would draw in a lot of community involvement with only small amounts of donations required from each individual but drawing in enough that it would add up to a successful and fun event.

As with many start-ups my on hand cash is limited so I have to be careful in that the events I hope to put on do not require too much spending out of pocket because the purpose is to raise money-not spend it.

I'll meet with this most capable friend soon and we will discuss all this and more. Whether we will join together into one team, or find ways to work together in a partnership of teams. Either way- I'll get those two annoying tiny versions of me off of my shoulders and quiet.

Another Relay for Life season has begun. I will be blogging again on various Relay, ACS, and cancer related topics along with this journey of beginning and participating in a new team. All of which are things that I am passionate about, Please join me as we travel this road toward the East Gaston Relay for Life event on May 10Th 2013, at Common Ground on Hickory Grove Rd, Stanley, NC.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Join the battle to fight cancer

This is a column that I authored that ran in Sunday's (Oct.7th) Gaston Gazette. Join the battle to fight cancer--

By Rebecca Revels

Published: Saturday, October 6, 2012 at 21:11 PM.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2008. In February I underwent a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatments. While my doctor answered my questions, I was still to some degree walking blind, trying to make my way through a maze of treatments along with the physical and emotional changes.
Right about the time I was finishing my radiation treatments I was invited to participate in the East Gaston Relay for Life. When I became involved that first year it was almost time for the actual event. I did not get to see what all was involved in preparing for that night. Few believed that I would last that entire night being so soon after my treatments – but being the stubborn one that I am, I made it from Survivor Lap to that last lap at 7 a.m.
I have been fully dedicated and involved with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life ever since. I have been blessed to work with some amazing people – some survivors, some caregivers and some who are people with big hearts and determined spirits helping in the fight to find a cure. While that cure is being sought, they also work to raise awareness and funds for programs to help those warriors who are battling and those who are taking care of the warriors.
It is time once again for the new Relay for Life fundraising season and planning for the event to begin.
The East Gaston Relay for Life will have their Kick-Off Celebration at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday Oct. 9 at First Baptist Church in Stanley. Anyone interested is more than welcome to attend. 2012-2013 will be the 10th year for the East Gaston Relay for Life. It began back in 2003 and brought in more than $43,000. Over the course of time there have been changes. Teams have come and gone, a recession has caused fundraising to be more difficult, and people have so many more things taking up their time. Cancer however, has not changed – it is indiscriminatory, it still shows no prejudice, no concerns, no caring of who you are and what you have planned.
Two years ago the event moved from the East Gaston High School football field to the First Methodist Church’s walking track, known as Common Ground on Hickory Grove Road. On May 10, 2013, the campsites will be set up, along with the stage. Luminaries will line the track in honor and memory of those who have fought the battle and their caregivers. Along the way to this day there will be meetings and fundraising events. There will be moments of learning and there will be moments of laughter and tears. On May 10, there will be much of the same all for the same purpose in mind – to raise money for the American Cancer Society to help fund research for a cure and to help fund the programs needed to help those in the midst of the fight .
There are many different Relay for Life events in the area. The East Gaston Relay is only one of the many. All readily invite any who are interested in joining. Good dedicated people ready and willing to do everything they are able to help in this purpose – to find an end to cancer.
My cancer is gone, but I still fight and will continue to fight for those who are in some stage of the battle – whether they have just been diagnosed, are in the process or are finishing treatments, or have been cancer free for years. I fight along with the caregivers who have watched their loved ones and friends battle. I fight in the memory of those whose battle is over.
We have all in some way been touched by cancer – find an event, whether it is with East Gaston, Gastonia, Lincolnton or any point in between. Join with us – help find a way to put an end to cancer.