Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Power of Purple

My sister and I recently accepted the challenge of being part of the planning committee for one of our local American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life Events ( We will be planning the event for Royal Palm Beach, Florida.

Relay for Life is not your traditional walking/running event in support of cancer. It really is a “relay”, team members take turns walking (usually around a track); not all team members need to be walking at all times. However, teams are asked to have at least one representative on the course at all times. In the 25 years since its inception, Relay for Life has grown from one event in Tacoma, Washington, into a global event that has helped to raise billions of dollars in support of the ACS’s mission of “eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.”

This past weekend I had the pleasure of spending a portion of my weekend in Orlando, Fl. with my sister Carmen. We attended the Florida Division Relay for Life Summit. It was a weekend filled with lots of great training, lots of information on making our event great, but especially filled with a full gamut of emotions over the stories of hope and celebration of those who have fought and won, and sometimes lost, their battles with cancer. Having such close relations to cancer survivors and cancer victims (my sisters, my cousins, etc.), I could fully relate to many stories that were told.

While I have participated in Relay for Life events in the past, I have never fully taken in the meaning of the event, until the event I participated in this past Spring. The event is a chance to celebrate the lives of those living with cancer, remember those who have past away from cancer, and best of all a chance to join in the fight to eliminate cancer.

The signature color of the event is Purple; so to explain the blog title today, I would have to say the Power of Purple is the power that each of us as individuals has when we participate in the fight to eliminate cancer, but even more so it is the power of that we have as a community to join forces to help the ACS achieve its mission. I am (and will always be) Pink at Heart, but for at least 17 hours next April (and for all Aprils to come) my blood will run purple, with a hint of pink!

I encourage all of you who read this blog to look into and participate in your local Relay for Life event. If you don’t have one yet, contact the ACS to get one started. And if you cannot participate, be sure to support someone who is participating in their own event. Be sure to check out for more information on relay and to see about the relay in your area.

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