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Relay For Life!

June 5, 2010

{Also known as: a brutal thunderstorm, a group of horny teenagers and a massage at 4:30 a.m.}

Last night, I ‘participated’ in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. My younger sister, Lindsay, organized a team this year, of ten giggly girls, and asked me to be her chaperone. I guess I didn’t see it coming: I’d be completely left out of their festivities, my friends would only stop by for a few minutes, and I’d have a sleepless night in a small tent next to twenty-odd teenagers naming animals with letters of the alphabet, hosting Jonas Brothers (ironic) singalongs, and one-word-each stories with recurring characters such as Abdul and Lamby the lamb (who got ‘dusted’ frequently).

Needless to say, it was an adventure.

Despite my moaning and complaining, though, I was still thrilled to be a part of the event. I have attended Relay for Life for several years now, but this is my first year participating in the overnight component. For those who don’t know, Relay for Life is an all-night event supporting cancer research. Teams raise money beforehand, and on the night of, the idea is to have at least one person per team walking the track all night (ergo, relay). It’s quite fun: there are lots of activities (tug of war, Avatar screening at 2 am) and lots of people there, which is nice.

It was the first year that an enormous thunderstorm overtook the night, replete with one of the craziest lightning shows I’ve seen in a while. Funny story: as I was lying in the tent with my friend Mike, a security guard came by, shook the tent and ordered us to the arena for safety. He was quite serious: “I’m coming back in two minutes and if you’re not gone, we’ll have to take other measures.” Mike quietly said: “What, are you going to lift our tent and bring us there yourselves?” and as we laughed at that idea, the guard (a few tents over now) berated us: “THIS IS NOT A LAUGHING MATTER!” In fact, it was, since grounded tent poles, proximity to much taller and more metallic objects, and basic lightning knowledge will tell you that there was really no danger. However, we went back out into the rain to sit in the arena for another couple hours..then Mike went home and I went back to the tent.

After a few hours of semi-restful sleep, I awoke suddenly at 4. Terrible, terrible feeling. Determined to make the most of it, I leapt from my tent and grabbed a blueberry muffin from the Tim Hortons booth. I then meandered over, praying and hoping that the all-night massage tent was still open. Hallelujah. I signed that consent form faster than you can say “that masseuse is eyeing me funny” and flopped down on the table, not caring that this guy was seeing me at my absolute worst – frizzy rain hair, glasses, massive bags under my eyes and my teeth stained blue from the muffin. SUCH IS LIFE PEOPLE. Anyways, what followed was bliss, combined with some small talk, made awkward only because of my inability to form full sentences. My neck and shoulders were quite happy. I practically skipped back to the tent, packed up, drove home, stripped and fell into bed for another five hours.

It was good, it was bad, it was ugly. I’m glad I did it, but next year I’m bringing my friends with me. Here are some pictures from the event!

Somehow, silly Leo got caught up in the race preparations. :)

Tiger hat!


The pipers getting ready to go (they then had to wait for an hour while Goodlife fitness unnecessarily warmed us up)

Creative costumes!

Doggies that look sort of like their owners (not in a bad way!)

Joining into the celebrations!

A beautiful cancer survivor.

Another beautiful survivor..this little girl cut the ribbon to start the relay!

A gorgeous, moss-covered chapel

Some beautiful luminaries, honouring people affected by cancer

Although luminaries lined the whole track, these ones were arranged to spell 'HOPE'.

My daddy stopped by! :)

Lots of beautiful people and things. I’m really honoured I was able to be a part of this event. Cancer has affected my life much more than it should, and I’ve lost some really wonderful and cherished people to this disease. It breaks my heart to watch my Mom reminisce on Relay for Life day, but it’s better to remember painfully than to forget. I love you W.B.S., M.Y., I love you forever.

xoxo, S.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2010 3:01 PM

    A beautiful post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Laura permalink
    June 5, 2010 7:31 PM

    You know if you had invited us earlier this week we would have slept over with you and had lots of fun!

    • effieboo permalink
      June 5, 2010 8:10 PM

      Doesn’t matter, at least you dropped by! Besides, it wouldn’t have been that fun anyways for was so rainy.

  3. Julie permalink
    June 5, 2010 8:49 PM

    I followed your twitter link. REALLY NICE story. So touching. btw is the Mike you refer to anyone I know?

    • effieboo permalink
      June 5, 2010 9:41 PM

      That’d be your Mike! :)


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