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)
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 www.canadiancancersociety.ca.