Throughout my time volunteering with the American Cancer Society and participating in Relay For Life Events, I’ve heard many inspiring stories. Earlier this year I joined the Event Leadership Team (ELT) of the largest Relay For Life in Orange County and had the opportunity share one during the Luminaria Ceremony.
Soon after I accepted a new role on the ELT and began preparing for the 2020 event to be held on June 6-7. Our event site and my fundraising page went live earlier today. My goal is to raise $10 for each year my mom lived before losing her battle with cancer. Please make a donation and join me in the fight against the terrible disease that takes lives too soon every day, while remembering those we love. Every cent counts, and I’m extremely grateful in advance for your support. More information on the organization and why I support it can be found here and my full speech is shown below. I’m always thrilled to see questions and feedback in the comments.
Power to Fight
We’ve all seen ads and heard the statistics, but until cancer affects you or someone you know and love directly sometimes it’s hard to fully understand. I became involved with Relay For Life in 2006 and with every event I’ve attended I’ve been inspired by stories of hope from participants, caregivers and survivors. Tonight I’d like to share with you the story of a little girl who was told that she would lose her mother to cancer at 12 years old.
Although she heard the words she did not believe them to be true until one day after school she was interrupted from an afternoon nap and rushed to a local hospital where the waiting room was filled with familiar faces.
Because her mom had been in and out of the hospital battling colon cancer, she knew that this time would be like any other and soon she and her family would be going home together. As time went on familiar faces continued to enter the lobby and waiting room, but after a long day at school all she wanted to do was sleep. Soon those familiar faces became masked and the atmosphere shifted from hope, faith and camaraderie to that of doubt and fear.
As she stood in her mother’s hospital room and took in scenes of blood, needles, IVs and her mom tossing and turning in pain she realized that it was time to wake up, but before the night ended her mom entered an eternal sleep.
That little girl was me. On April 21, 2005 at 7:31 p.m. I experienced the worst moment of my life as my mom took her final breath.
As I stand here before you tonight armed with strength and courage and hope I’m reminded that one of the most treatable forms of cancer ended my mother’s life. Although I would do or give anything to bring my mom back, bringing her back is simply not in my power, but I still believe in power. I believe in the power of prayer; I believe in the power of unity. I believe in the power of research; I believe in the power in you.
You have the power to make a difference so that no 12 year old girl has to lose her mom too soon, no 42 year old woman has to lose her life too soon and no human on earth has to lose hope too soon.
We have the power to find a cure.
As we participate in relay for life events around the world, we join the fight against cancer we join the fight for life, for love, for hope, for unity for a world with more birthdays.
Thank you for using your power. Thank you for joining the fight.
Hugs & Handshakes,
Jasmine C. Tate