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JIACOLO
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Relay For Life

Monday, May 21, 2012

Back in January I was at my women's club monthly meeting. The guest speaker that evening was a young woman from the American Cancer Society. She was there to discuss having the Relay For Life come to our town. I have participated in Relay For Life for 10 years now, but always in other communities. Needless to say I was incredibly excited about this opportunity. I had my business card out and in hand before she finished asking for people to volunteer to be on the committee.

Little did I know what that would lead to. I guess it doesn't surprise me that at the first committee meeting I would volunteer to take on the committee chair role. It would turn out to be a rewarding and enriching experience for me!

For 5 months I helped plan for this new event. I made many mistakes along the way, but I also learned so much. I was fortunate to have an amazing committee to lead through the process and my family stepped up as well. What started out as an opportunity to do something for my brother, Jan (who had been a cancer patient for 17 years and lost his battle 5 years ago) turned into so much more! My community came together to, united in the fight against this horrible disease.

Through it all, I had to learn to balance taking care of myself with the new demands on my time. My four days a week gym commitment was tough at times I admit. Eating on the run became a norm. (I will admit I brought food to meetings on several occasions and refused to feel bad about having to do so.) Sleep was difficult most nights and I know I suffered in this department. I do look forward to finding some balance with my sleep schedule again.

Now one day after the Relay is over and I can reflect on the last 5 months. We exceeded our monetary and involvement goals. We stayed up for 36 hours to make sure everyone knew Relay For Life was in town and there to fight cancer. We are tired, have sore feet and muscles, and need to try and get back to the normalcy of our lives. And I missed my graduation for my CAGS (a second Master's degree).

Was it worth it? Absolutely! I could not be more proud of what I have done, what my committee has done, what my family, friends and community have done. Will I do it again next year? Ask me tomorrow after I rest.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • v FLPALM
    Janine, I just read this wonderful BLOG of yours. Even though your brother passed several years ago, I truly am sorry for your loss. My Hubby, a Cancer Survivor, from Colon Cancer, Mother's Day 2003, with EMERGENCY SURGERY, and NO SYMPTOMS, except for that last week, went through quite alot! More than 1/2 of his colon was removed, he was literally GONE on the operating table, and they gave him little chance to make it through the 24 hours! After months of chemo, and reversal of his Coloscopy surgery, he is doing fine.

    I SINCERELY hope that someday WE CAN meet! You sound like a BEAUTIFUL LADY! A wonderful person, that truly cares for others.....someone I WOULD BE PROUD to call my FRIEND!

    Hugs,
    Fran
    1346 days ago
  • v MDMNINA
    emoticon
    1496 days ago
  • v RAINBOWFALLS
    emoticon
    1496 days ago
  • v REBECCAMA
    Way to go Janine!! Cancer is killing way, way too many people. Congratulations to you for making a difference.
    1496 days ago
  • v JIACOLO
    Thanks Diane! Hope your walk went well!
    1496 days ago
  • v DROSS0616
    Congratulations on a successful Relay for Life! emoticon
    1496 days ago
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