17
Jun
2012
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Walkers4Knockers

Inspiring. Emotional. Courageous. Moving. Determination. Motivating. Exhausting. All of this was Relay for Life for me.

When Dani was diagnosed almost two months ago everyone dealt with the news differently. Some were the epitome of strength. Others quiet while they processed. Some jumped right in and naturally knew their role while others took a bit longer to figure out their place in this crazy journey.

We all shared one thing though: support for our dear friend.

When the idea of uniting together was presented, we all jumped on board. Relay for Life united us.

From start to finish the evening was moving. As a group we decorated our plot. Even though this was a “dry” event, we had a Beach Hut theme.

breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Our super awesome team
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Flag at our headquarters
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Just a little adjustment required
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Team shirts

Before the relay started, there was an incredibly emotional opening ceremonies that includes a “Survivors Lap.” No matter your age, how long you’ve been in remission or have been fighting this awful disease, Survivors open the celebration that signifies we are taking steps in the right direction to find a cure.

But it’s not just about the Survivors. This part of the evening also recognizes their rocks – someone who has stood by them through their journey. It is usually a spouse, partner, sibling, caregiver. It doesn’t matter who it is – it’s symbolic of the people who share their journey with them.

breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Danielle Morin from the Ottawa Senators with her husband Don.
A beautiful soul. RIP my friend.
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life

Once the Survivors have made their way around the loop, all teams then took to the track to walk in solidarity. This year Dani didn’t feel it was yet her time to walk as a survivor. It was only 3 weeks ago that she had her double mastectomy and the day of the Relay she had her “pic” line put in. But she did somehow find the strength and courage to join us for the team walk.

breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life; ottawa senators
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Me & my bestie :)
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
Dani & her bro Sammy
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
GarBear (Dani’s youngest)
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life

Dani stuck around as long as she could but it had obviously been a long day. As this was a 24 hour event, the organizers did an amazing job at keeping people motivated. When you arrived at the event (or prior) you had the opportunity to purchase luminaries. It wasn’t until they were lit did I understand the magic and power behind them.

Somewhere around midnight (maybe earlier) the Luminary Ceremony was held. It was a way to honour cancer survivors or those who have either lost their battle with cancer. I was overcome with emotion at this event. Picture thousands of luminaries all lit and the only noise to be heard is the odd sob. It’s really quite amazing.

 breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life; luminaria
Luminaria for my bestie
breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life; luminaria
Luminaria in honour of my grandma

The evening was one filled with love and support. Everyone on our team made it through the night. We chatted. Reflected. Offered words of encouragement. But most importantly, honoured our friend’s journey.

breast cancer blog; best friends support; relay for life
5:00 am sunrise in Kanata
I was fortunate enough to have my mama there documenting the whole thing through pictures. Thank you again mom :)
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