Why I Relay
By: Andrea Sinclair
I relay because cancer made me an orphan. Cancer stole my parents during the same year- it barely felt like the leaves had changed and they were both gone. I relay because my nephews will never feel how much their grandparents fought this disease with all that they had so that they could maybe meet them. My parents would have fought forever to be able to spoil their grandchildren on Christmas morning, to watch school recitals smiling ear to ear, to be there to offer them some gems of wisdom as they get them off the bus after hard days at school. I hate that cancer stole my foundation, my stability- but I hate more, is that my nephews will never have that foundation… never feel that warm sense of safety and support that comes within generations of a family’s love.
I relay because cancer stole so much of my best friends potential as treatment allowed for her survival, but the fallout from this life-saving treatment stole her body system by system. There is no doubt that the world is so much better for having her in it, but if she had never known cancer, she would have moved more mountains as she is the most powerful, beautiful, giving spirit I have the honor of knowing, I relay because I pray the next generation of children with cancer will have treatment that not only saves them, but allows them to thrive as though cancer was just a speed bump in their long healthy lives… or better yet, cancer is spoken of as an epidemic of the dark ages in their history books. I relay because I am mad as hell for all the loss my best friend and her family have endured because cancer found her as a child.
This may seem like a mute point given the impact of cancer on the human race, but I relay because I work at an emergency veterinary hospital and I see so many families that are losing a furry family member to cancer. These families have the option of ending their loved ones pain and suffering after trying every treatment we have. I cry on my ride home because I know yet another family has had their hearts broken by cancer. If we have answers for humans we’ll inevitably have more answers for the pets who have been our loyal companions and backbones of our families.
My parents traveled day after day to the best hospitals in Connecticut, then Manhattan and Boston where they first received the latest and greatest treatment that modern medicine knows. When they were told that the doctors had nothing left to offer my parents joined clinical trials in the hopes that the knowledge gained from their inevitable death would help future generations. I relay because I hope my parents death wasn’t in vain and that their grandchildren won’t know the heartbreak from having their world ripped out from under them by cancer. I relay because this world needs people like my best friend who fight for light in darkness to be at full warrior strength in these times, not hollowed out by cancer and the treatment
that ravaged her body and soul.
I relay because I have to do something. I don’t think walking around a track and raising some money will end cancer. I do think the collective energy of people who are angry & broken but hopeful & ready to fight combined with financial and institutional support for research will help bring an end to cancer.
This June I will be relaying with my gym family from A|M Fitness because all their efforts have made me healthier and in doing so they’ve given me my fight back.