Posted on 20 June 2012 by admin
There are sure to be a river of tears, but thankfully endless smiles when the annual Canadian Cancer Society’s Relay for Life takes over Gyro Beach on Saturday.
The Relay for Life has helped raise tens of millions of dollars for cancer research over the last 25 years, including the past dozen here in Osoyoos.
But the Relay for Life is more than just a fundraising event.
It is an opportunity to get together with family and friends and celebrate cancer survivors, remember loved ones lost to cancer and an opportunity to fight back in the hope of finding a cure for this terrible disease.
The relay is fun, fulfilling and inspirational.
It provides cancer survivors, those who have lost loved ones to cancer and friends, family and co-workers of those suffering from cancer the opportunity to gather together to share emotions that range from heartbreak to ecstasy.
For Osoyoos residents like Elida Martin and Bea Becker, the Relay for Life is one of the most important days of their year.
As highlighted on the pages of the Osoyoos Times, Martin lost her dearly beloved mother to cancer six years ago and decided she had to do her small part and became involved in the Relay for Life a couple of years ago.
This year she is the co-ordinator of the team captains.
Martin said she would not miss the Relay for Life for anything as it makes her feel wonderful to be surrounded by so many other people who have lost loved ones to cancer.
Becker has survived three different bouts with cancer and is now cancer-free and enjoying life to the fullest.
Despite the fact five of her seven brothers were diagnosed with cancer and the horrible disease claimed three of their lives, Becker insists cancer can be beaten as she has proven time and time again.
While a cure may still be a long time coming, early diagnosis and treatment means cancer is no longer a death sentence as many people, like her, go on to lead healthy, happy and rewarding lives, said Becker.
For over 25 years, Becker has helped hundreds of local citizens diagnosed with cancer as a longtime and dedicated volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society.
Being able to help others during their time of need after being diagnosed with cancer has been a remarkable and exceptionally rewarding experience, said Becker.
Osoyoos residents have traditionally shown up in droves to cheer on the cancer survivors and all participants and it won’t be any different on Saturday.
The event kicks off at noon and continues until midnight down at Gyro Beach.
There will be good food, entertainment, a lot of great spirit and some very brave and courageous people who deserve all the recognition and support citizens can muster during a very special day and event.
Everyone who participates in the Relay for Life has the same dream – that a cure for cancer will be found and no more relays will have to take place.
But until that day comes, those who do participate call it one of the best days of the year.
Ask anyone who has ever attended a Relay for Life as a participant or supporter and they will tell you the same thing – it is extremely emotional, but very rewarding.
Being surrounded by people who have gone through the pain and suffering caused by cancer brings a lot of comfort to the participants.
Here’s hoping Mother Nature co-operates and brings warm sunshine to the 2012 Relay for Life. And here’s wishing good luck to everyone involved in the 2012 event.