Relay for Life 2017

When you hear commercials for drugs they give you all kinds of statistics about what disease or illness they help fight, they then go on to spend the other 85% of their air time telling you about how their drug can kill you.  There are a lot of statistics about cancer, but no drugs that can cure it.

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Every year starting in 2001 my family has been participating in the Relay for Life in some form or another.  The early years of that was through our employer.  After my mom passed away in 2007 from brain cancer we decided to form our own fundraising team.  This was for her memory, and to honor my mother-in-law who is a 20+ year survivor of breast cancer.  Over the years we’ve had other people join our team and leave our team.  We aren’t too picky about who is on our team, just as long as they’re trying to achieve the same goal we are.  Trying to find a cure for cancer.

The one statistic I want to bring up every year is that 2 out of every 3 people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer in their lifetimes.  I sit at my desk and look at my other 3 coworkers and know that most, if not all of us will end up with this horrible disease at some point in our lives.  I have a hard time finding people to talk to who haven’t been affected by cancer in some way.  Either they were diagnosed themselves, or they know a family member or friend who has.  This disease knows no age limits.  It doesn’t discriminate in any way against age, gender, race, color, religious beliefs, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.  It is rare that I go a week without hearing of someone I know personally who is diagnosed, or being examined for, this horrible disease.

Until recently this hadn’t hit home too much other than my mother.  My mother-in-law’s fight came before I knew her.  Last fall as my wife and I were waiting for our youngest son’s basketball game to start one Saturday morning we ran in to a longtime friend who had supported our team in the past.  We asked him what was new, and he seemed a little distraught and asked his wife to take their daughter into the hall.  Earlier that week he went to ER to be treated for what he thought was gall stones.  About 36 hours later and a bunch of testing he was home, with a stage 4 colon cancer diagnosis.  This is a man who is only three years older than me.  I still have a hard time grasping what he’s going through.  Not only with treatments, but also knowing that he has a grim prognosis and there is a distinct possibility that he will lose his fight before his children graduate from high school.

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Examples like this have helped me realize this is truly why I participate in the Relay for Life.  I still love to remember my mother, and honor my mother-in-law, but if I can be a part of something that potentially could help my friend live to see his kids graduate, walk his daughter down the aisle, or hold his grandchildren, then sign me up.  If I can help raise money for an organization that wants to see the same things I do in regards to this horrible disease, then sign me up.

This year has turned out to be a little more challenging when preparing for the Relay.  Our oldest son graduated from high school this past spring and is getting ready to head off to Western Michigan University in late August.  That’s caused some schedule changes in our personal lives that we’ve never had before.  So our participation in the year’s event is going to be much less significant that in the past.  That doesn’t change any of the need for what we do.  I have yet to see a legitimate news story that is about the cure for cancer.  There are many stories out there claiming that there are certain foods or supplements you can take to cure cancer.  Those claims are pretty baseless, because while they may help, if they were truly effective then the FDA would be regulating them.

This year we have made the decision to be part of the event in a lessor role.  We plan to spend a majority of the first day walking and visiting with all of the people we have come to know through our local event.  We will be attending to luminary ceremony and lighting up a few for those close to us.  This doesn’t change the need for your donations, and there’s still time for you to donate, but this year’s event is coming up quickly, 8/4-5, so don’t delay.  If you would like to make an online donation (preferred method) you can go to www.relayforlife.org/barrymi and still make a donation to the event.  If you prefer not to make an online donation you can mail or drop off a donation at my house, please hit me up for directions.  If you are writing a check please make it out to the American Cancer Society and we will make sure it gets turned in.  If you can’t make a donation by check right now there are other ways to donate.  One of the ways I’ve been raising money is through bottle refunds.  My coworkers have been brining me their returnable bottles and every one I turn in goes towards our fund-raising efforts.  If you’ve got a bunch lying around the house let me know and we can make arrangements to get them.

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So while our time wasn’t able to be put towards the Relay for Life as much as we would have liked this year, it doesn’t change the need for funding.  I hope you can find time in your day to donate, it may save your own life later.

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Relay For Life 2016, or What Happened when I Wasn’t In Jail

August 16, 2016 v3 p45

The day is starting off a little on the damp side.  At 10 a.m. we’re finishing loading up to head out.  The track may be damp, but our spirits aren’t!

We arrived and it started sprinkling while we were setting up the site decorations. I’m a little wet, remembering why I don’t wear cotton shirts.  The track has is muddy and has some puddles but it’s not bad. I can deal with a little weaving while I walk.  I hope the puddles dry up by dark or it may be difficult to see them. My feet are dry, for now.   The sun has started to peek through the clouds just in time for the opening ceremony.

After close to three hours of walking I’m through 5 miles. Last year I did a total of 32, but this isn’t about what I can do.  The rain has passed and there is a nice breeze.  I’m glad it’s nice out, hopefully that will convince people to stop out.  It already seems that it’s helped some.  The track is drying and my feet are still dry too.

Watching the survivors every year is tough.  Knowing that Mom never had a chance to participate in that kind of event really adds to my loss.  However, seeing faces that are repeating the same walk year after year helps remind me that I am making a difference.  I know that this may not be the year that a cure is found and we can eradicate this horrible disease,  but if I don’t try to continue to make a difference there is less of a chance that a cure will be found.

So far I’ve walked 10 miles.  My feet feel good, it will be time to change my socks soon.  My hip is holding up well, but I’m resting it while I cook dinner.  Burgers and hot dogs are on the menu, plus a variety of snack food that my fellow team members brought.  Bonus that we remembered to pack a spatula this year!

The luminary ceremony is always my favorite part of the entire Relay.  There is always a nice speech leading up to it then a silent lap when everyone walks a lap in silence with a candle. In past years this has been the toughest lap of the whole event for me.  That’s not because I’m tired.   Walking the last hour of the second day is way more taxing physically than a slower, reflective lap early in the night.  I usually do that lap by myself and finish in front of Mom’s luminary.  This year I prayed for the entire lap and found much more peace when I finished.

My wife is always in charge of making the luminaries for our team, she is much more artistic than me.  This year she pressed flowers between contact paper and cut out the bag where the flowers go.  This helps the candle inside light up the flower as well as the bag itself.  People are always looking at our luminaries and commenting on them.  I feel so fortunate to have a wife who takes so much care to create unique and beautiful luminaries every year.   It really adds a little something extra to the whole night!

Up to this point everything was written during breaks at the event.  Last year I had pretty much my whole blog ready by the time we left on Sunday morning.  As things started to wind down for the evening it appeared that there was going to be more participation overnight.  For the past few years there has been a volley ball tournament to help keep some of the younger crowd active.  This year was no different, except that while that was taking place there were a lot more people on the track walking than there usually are overnight.  I remember in years past when my wife and I would be walking sometime between 2 and 5 a.m. we could often go numerous laps without seeing anyone else on the track.  I think one year we split up and went in different directions and neither of us passed any one.  It was nice to see more people out there in the dark with us.

I have a lot of parts that of the Relay that I look forward to every year.  One of them occurs about 6:15 in the morning on the second day when I get to see the sunrise.  This year that didn’t happen.  With all the moisture in the air and on the ground from the rain the day before daylight didn’t arrive until about 6:45 and it was foggy.  It lifted pretty quickly, but when we stopped for pancakes at 8ish it was still pretty cloudy.  I was reengergized by the breakfast and kept on plugging away.  I was behind my pace from 2015 by a couple of hours and didn’t think I would pass my distance, but I was ready to continue walking.

About 2.5 hours into the event I was beginning to think I might not be able to complete 24 hours this year.  I was feeling a little stiffness in my hips, but a little rest and some stretching loosened it up.  I could tell later in the night that the strengthening exercises I have been doing over the past three months were working.  Normally about five in the morning I start to feel pain in my lower back, this year I never got that feeling.  There were a couple of times overnight that my wife had to ask me to slow down because she couldn’t keep up with me.  That’s when I knew all of that work was paying off.

She had reached the point shortly after breakfast that it was evident that it was time for her to stop.  It wasn’t that she didn’t want to continue, or couldn’t if she needed to, but that if she continued it would cause damage to her body.  It worked out nicely though.  That allowed me to get in a few laps with our 10-year-old in a one-on-one manner.  He really amazes me, as this year he walked enough to complete a half marathon.   It also allowed for me to walk at my pace.  I didn’t really feel like I was going that fast, but my wife told me later Sunday evening that I was cruising along well.  The third thing that happened was my wife was able to start packing up our site.  Normally both of our sons are there, but we had to take our older son home Saturday evening because he fell ill.  My mother-in-law normally comes back with my wife’s uncle on Sunday morning too, but when she was driving home late Saturday night she hit a large raccoon and it damaged her car to the point where it wasn’t driveable.  We didn’t take our whole site down, but a majority of it.  Most of the teams were completely gone with two hours left to go in the event.

Last year I amazed myself and walked 32 miles.  A lot of people asked me if I was going to beat that this year.  My answer is always that I’m not out there to walk a certain distance.  My only goal is to walk for a majority of the time.  As an endurance walker, as we’re called at our Relay, I am supposed to get a 15 minute break for every hour I walk.  I don’t take that many breakts.  One, because I don’t need that many breaks, two, because late in the event if I stop my body will begin to shut down and it will be hard to start back up up, and three, because cancer patients don’t get a break from cancer.  They dont’ get a break from chemo treatments.  They don’t get to sit down and say “I don’t have cancer for the next 15 minutes.”  At some point almost every year I break down in tears.  This year I didn’t.  I believe that is because of my faith.  I believe that Mom has been with me in the past during this event, and this year was no different.  What was different this year was how much I put my faith in God to help me keep moving forward.  With both of there help I was able to add six laps, or two miles to my total from 2015, and completed 34 miles.  I could have done one more but they moved the closing ceremonies up 15 minutes.

So for 24 hours I walked over 88,000 steps to help fight the horrible disease that is cancer.  It was emotional and painful, but I still don’t have any kind of clue what my mother went through when she was fighting.

I Love You Mom!

Why I Relay

June 21, 2016 v3 p34

Every year since 2009 my family has participated in the Barry County Relay for Life.  This was the first event we attended as a fundraising team on our own.

Early this spring my wife and I were walking at another Relay for Life event that our church was participating in.  We began trying to come up with a number of events that we had participated in.  We figured it was somewhere around 35-40 between the two of us.  When you add the events our kids have participated with us our family has over 50 Relay for Life events under our belts.  As our own fund raising team we’ve raised as over $10,000 towards cancer research and funding for the American Cancer Society.  But we don’t do it so we can boast about how much we’ve raised.

My wife first got involved in the Relay events back before I knew her.  Her mom, my mother-in-law, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1988.  She struggled and beat cancer all while raising three teenage girls by herself.  Later my wife began to participate in Relay events with a team through her work.  At the time we were divorced and I was still madly in love with her, and since we worked for the same company, at different locations, I wanted to be there to support her and just be able to spend time with her.  I used that as my motivation to help out for a few years.  We eventually remarried and it became a family event that we used to honor her mother’s fight.

In 2008 my mom was stricken with cancer.  It started in her lungs and showed some signs of it spreading to her liver.  Her diagnosis came early at the expense of a minor heart attack.  She started chemotherapy and was well on her way to recovery.  There was a period of about four weeks where she didn’t have any treatments to let her body heal before beginning the next round.  It was during that time period that the cancer had spread to her brain, and was growing rapidly.  Her team of doctors started the procedures to begin radiation therapy to add to the chemotherapy she was going to continue.

If you aren’t aware of what happens when you have radiation therapy here’s what I know.  She was fitted for a “mask” made out of fiberglass that was specifically contoured to her head.  That was needed to help hold her head into place so the radiation treatments could be directed at specific points in her brain.  To help control that, the patient is also strapped to the bed so they are unable to move during treatment.  The treatments last for up 45 minutes at a time from what I remember my dad telling me.  That may be different, but at the time of the conversation I don’t really think I was paying too much attention to details.  So try to imagine being strapped to a bed with a mask over your head and having radiation shot into your head, for any amount of time really.  Mom wasn’t a big fan of that treatment option.  Since surgery wasn’t an option for her type of cancer and chemo wouldn’t be enough, she decided it was time to end her fight.

I remember the day Dad called to tell me that news.  I went through a huge range of emotions.  They started with anger, I was mad that she had decided to give up.  That was before I knew what all the treatments entailed.  I then went to sadness, knowing my mom would be passing on soon.  Then finished with acceptance.  It was the toughest three months of my life.  I felt like I should go see her every day, yet it was hard to justify it with a family to raise in Portage, a job in Battle Creek, and her in Middleville.  Looking back I should have done whatever I could to be there as much as I could, but I think at the time I was able to justify it to myself that if I didn’t go, then it wasn’t happening.  So really I was in denial.

In the spring following her death we again were ready to participate in the Relay for Life in Kalamazoo as members of the team through my wife’s work.  She had stepped up that year to be a team captain for her work location.  During the event we had a pretty bad experience with the other team captains.  It was at that point where we decided, along with my sister-in-law, that it was time to form our own team.  That’s where Team Barbara-Ann was formed.  It was at that event where the time I spent there had a much different effect on me.  I was there to honor my mother instead of supporting my wife in honoring her mother.  It was a big difference in me personally.  Every year I walk for the majority of the entire event, well over 20 hours of time.  At the end of it every year I am in pain, tired, and need a shower.  But I know that it is nothing in comparison to what mom went through in her suffering at the hands of this awful disease.

This is the part about Relay that I hate the most, raising money.  Unfortunately cures are not found by themselves.  They don’t fall from the sky, or magically appear in the medicine cabinet.  It takes money to fund research.  The American Cancer Society Relay for Life events that are held all across the country are the single largest fund raising event in the world for cancer research.  Donations received at these events total well into the millions of dollars each year.  Cancer patients are impacted in other ways than just monetarily as well.  Money from these events helps to fund programs to assist those who can’t afford to help themselves.  In the Grand Rapids area some help goes to the Hope Lodge, which helps patients with a space to stay near the hospital if they need it.  They can also get rides to and from treatments if necessary through funding from Relay for Life.  It’s not just about research and a cure, but about helping cancer patients out.

So here’s my pitch.  Almost everyone reading this has known someone who has been stricken with this horrible disease.  If you haven’t, it will happen soon, the numbers point to it.  We have set our team goal again this year to raise $1000 dollars, and we’ve only got about two months to reach it (I work best under pressure).  In the past we’ve had car washes and pig roasts to help raise money, but as our family gets older and more involved in their own things, time becomes scarce.  There are a few different ways you can donate, here’s a few

  • Drop off returnable drink containers (nobody likes getting all sticky from feeding the machine)
  • I will wash, vacuum, and Armor All your car for $20
  • Buy a luminaria and decorate, or ask my wife to, for $10 (we’ll send a pic later)
  • Bring sample size bathroom items to donate to Hope Lodge

Monetary donations are always welcome too.  There’s a couple of different ways to get us the money.  You can mail it to us at Team Barbara-Ann, 2069 Fawn Ave Middleville MI 49333, please make checks payable to The American Cancer Society.  The preferred method of donating money is through our event website.  Go to www.relayforlife.org/barrymi and click on the donate button at the top right of the screen.  In the donate to a team field search for “Barbara-Ann” and then there will be a link to donate from there.

I appreciate you taking the time to read my words here and hope that you consider donating to this worthy cause.  If you’re interested we would love for you to join us to help celebrate our loved ones, or to celebrate someone you know, on August 13-14 from noon to noon at the Barry County Fairgrounds.

Hope to see you there!

8

September 29, 2015 v2 p65

Another year has passed.  I don’t miss you any less.  I still feel your influence on a daily basis.  I miss you Mom!

I remember the phone call like it was yesterday.  It was a Sunday in late February in late 2007.  I had been up with my youngest son for a couple of hours when the phone rang.  It was Dad.  He was heading out to the hospital to see Mom.  She had suffered a minor heart attack the night before.  The doctors had scheduled a surgery to place a stent or stents in a few places through out her circulatory system.  But that wasn’t all.

When they arrived at the ER the night before and they had gotten the heart attack under control they sent Mom off for x-rays.  The results had confirmed the heart attack they were treating but it also revealed much more.  They noticed some small spots on her films in her chest and lower back.  They weren’t exactly sure what they were, so off to the Meijer heart center they sent her.  After about a week of more testing they had finally found the right one that gave them the test results they were satisfied with.  The small spots on the original x-rays were in fact cancer.

The heart attack didn’t really worry me.  I knew what kind of diet Mom kept and how much exercise she got.  I wasn’t really surprised that she had a heart attack.  Especially since they were able to get it under control quickly when they initially arrived at the ER.  My brother and I visited her in the heart center before the final diagnosis, and she seemed pretty certain it was cancer.  I knew there was some history on her side of my family of cancer.  Her aunt, father, and I later found out, some cousins had all had that horrible disease.  I also knew that my mom had the strength to fight this horrible disease, and she seemed confident that she could beat it.

They started her with a few rounds of chemo.  The first round lasted eight weeks.  By the time the last round was complete almost all of the original spots were gone, or were significantly smaller in size.  The doctors were confident that they were on the path to eradicating the cancer all together.  Their confidence was so high that they made arrangements with a hospital in Montana for her to continue her treatments.  Dad had already made a commitment to return to his summer job of security at Glacier National Park.  This hospital was ready to continue the fight that Mom had started back here in Michigan.  There was about a three gap between the time of the final scans at home and the initial meet-and-greet appointment with the doctors in Montana.

A lot can happen in three weeks.  Three weeks is equal to 21 days, 504 hours, 30,240 minutes, or 1,814,400 seconds.  Your hair grows almost half an inch in three weeks.  A lot of vegetable plants will grown in three weeks.  They may not have edible food, but the plants will be visible.  Some people say that it takes three weeks to break or form a new habit.  When it comes to the last three weeks of the school year, they are the longest, but the last three weeks of summer vacation goes by the fastest.  A lot of good things can happen in three weeks, but unfortunately, a lot of bad things can happen too.

Mom had actually regressed in the time she spent waiting to continue with her treatments.  When Dad took her to the doctor for the evaluation they noticed that her speech was a little slurry.  She had fallen in the camper and had a pretty bad bruise on her hip.  She thought she had just stood up too fast and lost her balance.  I do that too, so I’m sure it didn’t seem like it was anything too out of the ordinary.  The doctors ordered some more immediate tests.  The results really look good.  They had discovered that while the spots from before had not grown any larger, the ones that were left were still there.  The problem was that there were new spots.

There were new spots, a lot of them.  The worst part of it was that they had moved into Mom’s brain.  Dad called me that night to let me know what was going on.  They had already made the decision to return to Michigan.  They would be leaving the next day and made what is normally three-day trip in about a day and half.  I’m pretty sure Dad had the gas pedal matted the whole way.  My wife and I met them here at the house and followed them to Grand Rapids to go back to hospital.  I could tell right away that things were different.  I held it together as best as I could.  The one thing that really made it all real was seeing Mom trying to write her name.  If any of you remember, she had the most beautiful handwriting.  Now it was a shakey mess and didn’t resemble her handwriting at all.

The doctors ran all the tests they needed to and came up with a plan.  They were going to treat her with radiation and chemo in a pretty aggressive manner to try to combat the aggressive cancer and its spreading.  I knew she was in for a fight, but I had no idea how big of one.  After a couple of radiation treatments Mom made the decision to stop.  I was initially mad at her for giving up, but then I found out what all she was going through with the radiation treatments.  As time has gone on I’ve come to learn more about what people who are going through what she did.  I don’t blame her for not going through that.  It would be difficult for anyone to try and fight this horrible disease as far as it had progressed with her.

I spent as much time as I could over that summer with her.  It’s not as much as I wished I had now that I look back.  I could easily justify not making the drive to Middleville from Kalamazoo to see her because I was working long hours and had two young children at home.  I also told myself I was protecting them from seeing what she was going through.  My youngest son was still not yet two so he has no memory of Grandma, but my oldest spent a lot of time with her growing up, as her and my Mother-In-Law both played a pretty big role in his life on the weekends while my wife and I both worked.  The few times I did bring them up he would almost immediately go outside and play in the yard, something he rarely did at home.  Near the end I could see how it was troubling him.

It was a Thursday in late September.  We had just celebrated your birthday the week before.  Chip called me to say I should probably stop by after work, so I did.  Dad told me that you had been sleeping for long periods at a time and that you had no appetite and were very incoherent for the short periods you were awake.  I told you that I would miss you and that I loved you, then I had to leave the room.  I knew I had screwed up.  I missed the opportunity to really spend time with you over those last few weeks.  I regret it on almost a daily basis.  I regret that I didn’t tell you I love you while you were still able to hear and understand what I was saying.  I stayed as long as I could without breaking down, then I made up an excuse of having to get home to the boys, and left.  That night about 11 pm Dad called and told me you had passed.  I hung up the phone and collapsed on the floor in the middle of my living room.  I thought I was ready because I knew it was going to happen.  Boy was I wrong.

I draw strength from you on a daily basis.  I do my best in everything I do because that’s what I know you would want me to do.  I do whatever I can to honor you and carry on your name.  I try to do things to help me understand what you went through, but I really have no idea what it was.  I just wish I had spent more time with you when I could have.

September 27 will always be a somber day for me, it is one of the days that I can pinpoint as the beginning of my life changing.

I miss you Mom!

I look forward to the day when I can hug you again!

I Love You!

If You Only Read One of My Blog Posts, Please Make it This One

Juy 8, 2015 v2 p51

The 2015 Barry County Relay For Life is only one month away, on August 8 at noon until August 9 at noon, at the Barry County Expo Center.  The shortened time doesn’t make any of it less important.


American Cancer Society

This will be the seventh year in a row my family has participated in the American Cancer Society Relay for LIfe in Barry County Michigan.  We formed our team after having participated in other Relays through teams set up by our employers.  The team is to honor the mother of my wife, Barbara, and my mother, Ann.  My mother-in-law is a 25+ year survivor of breast cancer.  She has been right there with to celebrate her beating cancer each year.  Honoring her is why my wife first started attending the Relays through her work.  At one time she was a team captain for the local Meijer stores in the Kalamazoo area.  My mom was diagnosed with cancer after x-rays following a minor heart attack showed spots on her chest.  After undergoing chemo and seeing a great reduction in the spots, the cancer unexpectedly spread to her brain quickly.  Less than eight months later she lost her battle with brain cancer.

Studies have shown that 1 out of 2 men and 1 out of 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime.  This is a disease that will touch everyone.  With the odds being that high it is likely that you or someone you know will be diagnosed with cancer.  The most common forms of cancer are prostate in men and breast in women.  The single most important factor in cancer treatment and prevention is early detection.  If cancer can be caught early enough it can be removed and eradicated, greatly raising the chance for defeating it and survival.  None of this should come to surprise to anyone.  If you are just now hearing that your chance to get some form of cancer is that high, then I would like to believe that you have been locked up in some room, disconnected from the world.  If that’s the case, whoever brought this to you through the internet has a lot of explaining to do for you.

This year I will be walking for the majority of the event.  I usually end up walking over the distance of an entire marathon.  Some years it has been closer to 30 miles, depending on if I was able to get the whole day off work, and then there was the year I ran a 5k at 8 in the morning after having gotten up at 6, worked 8 hours, then walked from about 5 until 6 the next morning.  I took a quick nap and then got ready for the race.  The race was named the “Whitie Tightie 5k” and participants were encouraged to dress up.  My running friends and I thought it would be fun to participate in our own way, so we went with this and naturally won the best costume award.  Aside from the I ran my fourth fastest race ever, and it felt like I had someone with me, pushing me to run.  It was a great race.

My favorite part of the whole Relay is the candle lap.  This is a silent lap walked while holding a burning candle in memory of all of those who lost their battles, and in honor of those who are currently fighting the fight and those who have defeated this horrible disease.  This is a time where I put my blinders on and walk by myself, even though my team and family all surround me.  Walking around a track with a candle is tricky if you want to keep it lit the whole way.  I have been successful at that for each of the past seven years, this plans to be the eighth.  At the conclusion of the lap I stop in front of Mom’s lunaria and say a prayer, before placing the candle in front of it for the duration of the event.  If you’d like to have a luminary decorated and displayed by our team in honor or memory of one of your loved ones, let me know and I will get you the details.

Every aspect of the Relay is great, it is one of my favorite days of the year.  Unfortunately research and cures aren’t free, so here’s where you can help.  We have set our team goal again this year to be $1000.  There are a couple of different ways we are raising money.  Every year we’ve had a Relay team we have done a bottle and can drive.  Nobody likes returning cans to the store, and if you have a large pile in your garage that you would like to see gone, I am more than willing to come pick them put and feed the can machine at the store in return for your donation.  If you’d like a luminary decorated to honor someone, those can be done for a simple $10 donation.  If you’d like to make a straight cash donation that is also acceptable.  If you’d like to do so by check please contact me and I will give you my mailing address, or you can come to the event and personally drop it off to us.  Our prefered method of direct donations is by donating online at our Relay for Life Website, which you can find by clicking here.  Hover over the DONATE NOW tab and then click donate to a team.  Scroll down until you find “Team Barbara-Ann” and then click on donate and follow the instructions.  We appreciate every penny that you can offer.

Our team has dwindled down in numbers over the years, but our desire to beat this horrible disease has never been stronger.  If you’d like to join our team you can do that through the same link too.  Hope to see you there.

THANK YOU!