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Running For More…

The personal blog and website of Kristen Cincotta

Emory University Relay for Life

April 11th, 2010 by Kristen Cincotta

This past Friday, my husband Mike and I laced up our sneakers and headed over to Emory University for the Relay for Life benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Welcome to the Relay for Life!

Mike and I arrived at Relay site around 7pm on Friday, April 9th.  After checking in, we spent some time exploring the event site to get the lay of the land.

Me with the Relay for Life banner.

For each Relay event, the track is lined with Luminaria that serve as lanterns to light the way through the night.  Luminaria can be purchased in the name of survivors and as a way to honor those that have been lost to cancer.  Prior to this walk, I dedicated a special gold Luminaria in Marcia’s name and a regular white Luminaria in honor of my mom who is currently fighting cancer for the second time.  One of the first things we did upon arriving at the Relay for Life was to locate the Luminaria for Mom and Marcia.

Luminaria for Marcia and Mom

At the Emory Relay for Life, Luminaria were also used to spell out “HOPE” in the stands over the track where the event was held.

Hope for a cure!

Shortly after we arrived, the Relay for Life began.  The first lap was led by a number of survivors with the rest of the participants following behind.  We joined in the group after they passed us by and began our walk around the track.

The Survivor Lap, led by cancer survivors and the Emory Eagle!

Mike and I weren’t able to spend the entire night participating in the Relay for Life, as would normally be tradition.  However, we wanted to participate in a significant way, so we instead completed my eight mile training walk for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure.  All together, that amounted to about 32 laps of the track and over two hours of walking, around and around and around…  Luckily, there were a lot of things to look at as we walked:

The track was surrounded by campsites (for those staying the whole night, L) and tables where groups were selling snacks to the Relayers to help raise additional money for the American Cancer Society (R)

There were also signs highlighting some of the work of the American Cancer Society.  This sign was particularly meaningful since Herceptin has been Mom’s wonder drug during her cancer treatments!

Just after sunset, a series of performers took to the stage at one end of the track to provide entertainment for all of the Relayers.  During this performance, three separate dance groups performed.

Dance groups performing at the Relay for Life.  Pardon the poor photo quality, it was pretty dark.

Finally, at around 9:30pm the lights on the track were lowered so that the only thing that we could see was the light of Luminarias all around the track.  All of the Relayers then walked a silent lap around the track to honor those that have been lost to cancer.  As it happened, this lap corresponded to the last lap of the eight miles that Mike and I walked.  As we walked that last lap, I couldn’t help but think of Marcia and how different this Friday night was then the awful night exactly one year ago when we learned of her passing.  It ended up being an incredibly meaningful moment that really made the night for me.

The beautiful lights of the Luminarias

Being able to do this event, on this night, was a great way for me to honor and remember Marcia in my own way.  Some day, I hope to be able to stay over night and experience the full event.  But for me, this event was everything that I needed it to be.

To see more pictures from the Emory University Relay for Life, please visit this album on my Picasa page.

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