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Life Redefined: Feeling Treasured

Post Published: 20 April 2011
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Category: Column, Life Redefined, Thyroid Cancer in Young Adults Column
This post currently has 15 responses. Leave a comment

Today I want to dish with y’all about survivorship (shocker, right?) and Relay for Life. Relay for Life is an event put on by the American Cancer Society. It takes place in communities throughout the country and I think it’s nothing less than awesomeness. Last year was the first time I ever participated in a Relay event and I LOVED it.

Going into the event, I didn’t know what to expect. But when I got there, I was blown away. Relay was one huge celebration of life. To officially get the party started, all the survivors and their caregivers joined together and walked a lap around the track. As we were walking, all the other participants lined the track and clapped, cheered, screamed, and CELEBRATED our lives. They made me feel treasured, like my experience with cancer was really valuable.

This was just the beginning. The party continued all night long. Live music. Good food. And thousands of people standing together, standing against cancer. I left Relay with the feeling of hope. Hope for my own life, hope for the millions who are living with cancer, and hope for the 1.4 million who will be diagnosed with cancer this year (and that’s just in the U.S.!).  And that’s why I’m participating in Relay for Life again this year, to remember that there is still hope and that I’m not alone in this new life I have been given.

Last year, this experience helped me to embrace who I am as a survivor, and that’s why I am SO excited to go back again this year. I want you to experience these same feelings, too. I want you to know that you are treasured. Your experience is valuable. YOU are valuable. No matter where you are in your cancer journey, your story is important. So I want to take you with me. Well, as best as I can, anyway. Are you a cancer survivor? I want to walk for you. Do you have a friend or family member who has/had cancer? I want to walk in honor or in memory of them, too. Leave a comment with names (first names only are fine) that you want me to take to Relay and I’ll walk for you and your loved ones.

Here’s to feeling treasured!

xoxo,

Joanna

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15 Responses to “Life Redefined: Feeling Treasured”

  1. Marie says:

     I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer  2006 in 4 years I had  a reoccurrence.
    Marie Trujillo

  2. Heather says:

    Please take along my mothers memory – JoAnna who died of liver cancer at the age of 32. My aunt, her sister, runs the relay in a Ohio town in her memory, but I think I would cry too much to be involved myself. Thanks for taking memories with you 🙂

  3. Nana York says:

    My husband Clinton was diagnosed with Thymoma stage 4a Cancer and Myasthenia Gravis in August 2002 and was given 6 months well its been 9 years ann hs is still kicking cancers Ass everyday, my Daughter Tara was diagnosed with Thyroid papillary Carcinoma on 5/6/11 and had a complete thyroidectomy on 6/4/11 she is now awaiting RAI
    We have walked every year in Realy for life since 2002 first on my cousins team 30 miles from home and then started our own team 4 years ago in our hometown, We have personally known over 40 people diagnosed since 2002 and half of them has lost their fight
    We walk every year for all people need they be here with us surviving everyday or in memory of
    so glad you have had the experience of a A.C.S./ Relay for life event i encourage all to find a local one and just attend you dont know what you are missing. It is a true AWWWWW inspiring emotional event , thanks for letting me share
    Caregiver to husband and now daughter as well as so many others

  4. Diane says:

    My daughter has been doing Relay for Life since shes been 12 years old. She is a Sophmore at St. Johns University and the Fraternities and Sororities raised over 46,000 dollars…these kids walked all night and gave up a weekend to fighy for what they believe in…just wanted to share that everyone cares!

    • THANK YOU, Diane, for sharing this with us. I know you must be SO proud of your daughter. She and her friends are so generous to donate time and money to Relay for Life. I personally think it’s a great cause!

  5. meganoates says:

    I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at 17. This January, I was 6 years cancer free. :)I wrote a book about it.

    http://www.authonomy.com/books/33018/would-you-like-your-cancer-a-memoir/

    You are a hero walking in honor of others.

    🙂

  6. mavic says:

    I was d

  7. Six years cancer free?! THAT’S FANTASTIC! I am definitely going to check out your book. AND I’m going to walk for you at Relay!

  8. Laura says:

    For my dad who is 5 years NED (no evidence of disease) from Metastatic Melanoma and for you, Joanna, one of my very best friends. I am so very proud of you!

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