Relay for Life 2018
To tell this story correctly, I need to give you some background. I attended my first Relay for Life five years ago. I was volunteering at the hospital and a couple of the nurses asked me if I had ever done the Relay for Life. I told them I hadn’t, and they convinced me to join the hospitals team. It sounded like it would be good for me to do, although I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I met some great people and for the most part, it was fulfilling. But I must admit, it was quite overwhelming and emotional for me at the time. I didn’t go the next year, and after that, I was busy with the Foundation.
So, when I was getting things ready this year for the Crusade Against Cancer, I wanted to see if I could get some food vendors. I wanted someone that could serve breakfast sandwiches, and I remembered Gandolfos had a food truck. I stopped in and asked the manager, but she said they no longer had the food truck. We got talking, and I told her about the Foundation and my fundraiser. Her name is LoRita Kahn and she told me she was a breast cancer survivor. She also told me she is the chairman of the Relay for Life committee in Idaho Falls. We talked about our experiences putting on different events and trying to help cancer patients in the community. Then she asked me if I would come and speak at the Relay for Life event in July. I told her I would be honored to, and I left.
After I left the store, I got thinking about how it might be awkward talking about the Foundation at the event. I didn’t want to distract from her message, so I wondered if I should tell her I couldn’t speak. At that point I received some guidance telling me I didn’t need to say anything about the Foundation, but there will be people there who need to hear my story. So, the decision was made.
I was talking with LoRita about a week before the event and asked her about what time she wanted me to talk. She told me she was going to have a young man speak before me and I would be speaking about 5:00pm. I knew the event was scheduled to go from 6:00pm to midnight, so I asked her if there was going to be anyone there at 5:00. She told me there would be a group already there, so I planned on speaking at 5:00. Now, I must admit I was a little disappointed I wasn’t speaking later in the evening when I knew there would be a larger crowd.
When I got there Friday afternoon, I went to the main tent where the cancer survivor group was. As I was waiting for LoRita, I received some more guidance that helped me understand why I was speaking when I was. I realized she wanted me to talk directly to the cancer survivors and their families. This was the group that needed to hear my story. I felt a little guilty for being disappointed earlier. I was reminded it isn’t about me or when I wanted to talk. I was reminded what was truly important.
I think the speech went very well, and had people come up and thank me afterwards. I want to thank my girlfriend Kristi, her son Carter, and her sister Pam for coming to hear me speak and for giving me so much support. I want to thank my Angel Shannon for guiding me and helping me understand what was most important. I will always LOVE AND MISS YOU sweetheart.
Next week: Touching lives