Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Because I Have To

I am sad today.

Sad because bad things happen to really amazing people and try as I might, I don't understand it. I know it's not my place to, that there is a plan that I know only very little of and that I should learn from the happenings of life around me.

But I don't really care about any of that today. I just want to be sad.

Yesterday brought me the news of not one but TWO deaths of truly lovely people to the evils of cancer. They both left their loved ones on Valentine's Day. With their adoring spouses and children huddled in close, they said goodbye. They fought valiantly, one for the past several years and the other for the past few months, and both fell to the destruction of cancer.

It pisses me off.

And makes me unbelievably sad.

And here's the thing; as you probably know, last year I headed up my own team for our local Relay For Life, a 15 hour event that raises money, celebrates survivors and honors victims. I chose to participate at the time because I realized how lucky I was that cancer hadn't come too close to home for me yet. I knew lots of people who had battled and survived and lots who had battled and lost, but my inner circle had so far remained untouched.

But cancer is winning. And it's creeping closer to me everyday.

I am captaining another team for this year's Relay and have been asked by the local chapter, along with my good friend Tracy, to co-chair the team development part of the event. We are in charge of recruiting new teams and spreading the word about this most important event. I've been to local businesses. I've talked with corporate sponsors. I even have my own business card.

But I haven't asked my friends to join me. I haven't sent out my letter requesting donations. I haven't done the very thing I've been asked to do.

I loved last year's Relay. I walked, with the exception of a 45 minute snooze break, for 13 hours. I covered 24 miles. I had blisters on my big toes and aches in my legs but I felt fantastic. My little team of SAHM's raised just over $2000.00 by bake-saleing and garage-saleing our hearts out. And I felt immense pride in watching those survivors and caregivers walk and walk with all of us cheering them on, reminding them that their fight didn't go unnoticed.

I think I've been hesitant to bring it up because I don't want anyone to feel obligated to join me. I don't want those on my team last year to feel like "oh crud, I guess I better do it again this year." I don't want it to be the elephant in the room every time I show up.

But I'm over that. Because you should join me. You should dust of your walking shoes, email your family and friends for donations and do every single thing you can to raise money and support this cause. Because like it or not, cancer is coming. Right at you and your loved ones. And it's time to put that beast to bed.

To join my team, The Betty Boobs, go here.

To start your own team, go here.

To make a donation to my team, go here.

For Jim.

For Letty.

For my uncle Fred, who is still fighting and thankfully winning.

For your beloved, your children, your parents, siblings, family and friends.

Because while sitting and watching others used to be enough, it's not anymore. Cancer is the big schoolyard bully of our generation that needs to be put in it's place. No more. No more diagnosis. No more lost lives. No more heartache. We can do this. I know we can. Please join me.


almond nuthouse said...

Karen, I would love to find out more about it and be on your team if it is something I can do...I just don't really know what you do or when. Call me or email me and give me details so I can make a decision. I'm sooo sorry about your losses!! It is such a hard thing to understand and accept. Let yourself be sad for a few day, Hang in there and don't let it interfere with loving and appreciating those you still have around you.

Amy said...

Two years ago, a dear friend of ours died in a plane crash. His own plane. He left behind a wife, and two little children. There was no way to prevent it, nothing that could be done to keep it from happening to anyone else. It was a senseless tragedy that still affects Jeff and I because we loved this friend so much.

But cancer is blight that we can do something about. It may happen slowly, but gains are being made in the fight against cancer. I'm so sorry about your friends. It's hard because the people who pass on are fine. They really are. It's their family and friends that suffer. So I love your proactive approach to all of this. As always, you are awesome.

Tam~n~Fam said...

I'll be sad with you, that's so lame! It's bad enough to lose someone you love, but come on? On freaking Valentine's Day? Then there are those that go on Christmas, that's just wrong! Grrr.

On the other hand, I've got to believe what I believe...that everything happens for a reason and remember to remember that God's hand is in all things. He is aware and he loves us. But all the same, I'm sorry for your loss.

And whatever...I can't wait to relay!! Especially not totally preggo and lame! :D Wootwoot Betty's!!!! Love ya girl!

Nolan said...

I'm so sorry Karen. Cancer sucks. You are so very right that we can't just sit by the wayside and do nothing about it. Betty Boobs all the way! Let's beat this monster!!

Kelly said...

Um... that last comment was actually made by Nolan's mother. OOPS.

Marilyn said...

Cancer is horrible. Unfortunately, it has affected both sides of my family from many angles.

Thanks for trying so hard to do something about it!

Jenn said...

I hope you are feeling better at the end of this week. You always amaze me with the really GOOD things that you do. You really are a superhero.

{april kennedy} said...

I lost my younger brother, only 34 years old, six months ago to brain cancer. I know that pain and sadness. I want so badly to join Relay for Life this year, but not sure I can go there and not bawl my eyes out.

Sorry for your sadness. Love your passion.