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Welcome to the DebiLyn Smith blog site. If you like what you read here, check out her website at

Monday, June 9, 2014

Relaying With Relish

 The Smithers Relay For Life was held on Saturday, June 7th at the Chandler School outdoor track. It started as a sunny morning  with volunteers popping in, coffees in hand to don their orange t-shirts marking them as organizers. Within minutes we were welcomed and put to work. We covered tables for the luncheon, set up tents and chairs, helped unload sound equipment, placed parking and no parking and team signs around.
We decorated and spread shirts across the Survivor Registration and  greeting station where people who have been through or are going through cancer get their special yellow shirts. They are encouraged to draw the outline of their hand on a banner, inside of which they will put how many years they have been cancer free and their name. The banner will later be walked around the track carried by and followed by the survivors. It's a powerful moment as people clap and cheer as we walk .

The first time I joined the survivors, I found this unnerving but now I receive it with honour as I know I am doing what I can to help others prevent a tangle with cancer.  Hugs and applause are always welcome in my life.

After a quick bite of fruit and vegis, I set-up and manned the Prevention Table where I talked to people about the ten tips I promote on lessening  cancer lottery tickets. I had samples of products one can reach for to lessen toxins, to use inside and outside their bodies to hopefully discourage a cancer growth. Things like vitamin D supplements, anti-oxidants like blueberries and ground flax seeds, using good oils instead of animal fats.

There were speeches from people going through their cancers and ones from people who have been out the other end. Stories of hope and loss, of optimism and of things the Canadian Cancer Society are currently funding in the way of research. Like: killing cancer cells with designer viruses and tracking prostate cancer with a protein biomarker, mapping the obesity problem, improving PET (positron emission technology) images among many, many others. (re: Top Canadian Cancer Society research stories of 2013)

There were head shavings on-site by people wanting to support others that are bald from cancer treatments. An anti " flavoured tobacco" petition was circulated and radon detector talks and draw. There was great music by local bands, local health food available and the sale of the luminaries: white flame-proof bags decorated in memory of cancer fighters present and past. A scoop of sand and a tea light candle are inserted in the bags which will line the track in the later hours. When they are lit, we walk the track in silence, thinking of these people.
The following is an excerpt from the end part of my luminary speech :

Tonight we light luminaries for those who's lights have gone out. We rekindle their memory with our flames and give them a moment of our silence. But we should also give these people our promise. That we will start looking after ourselves much better in their honour. Let them know that their passing from cancer has taught us a valuable lesson. That we will try harder to stay alive. To not take good health for granted.And that we will set a better example for those coming up behind us. For our children and the survivors of the future. So please think about this as you walk this last lap around the track in honour of those lights who are once again shining. The candles last mere minutes but our missing loved ones and the names of those currently fighting will live on forever in our hearts.

The moment was once again so emotional for me that I might have mentioned I will do what I can to get Houston relaying again in the summer of 2015.

It's never too late to give to the Canadian Cancer Society who does so many great things for anyone dealing with this disease. See their website at