Its been a decade since I started LV relay for life team. I was eager to dive right in and I never looked back. Its hard to believe It started with 2 people and has grown by leaps and bounds. I was Captain of the team and threw myself into it every year.
(Neva Lobo I’ll never forget and always remember the pep talks in the hard beginnings of my journey in relay.)
My last year I think was the most amazing year as Captain is when we sponsored the event sim, and we had a booth. My employees were asked if they would do one of their in store shifts monitoring the booth and did it with eagerness and a willingness that warmed both zadi and my hearts. I think in my heart that was the year that Zadi heard the call more loudly than ever. She was in the middle of it all, seeing things like she never seen before. I was busy on our other sim we sponsored setting up kiosks for the clothing store so we could raise more money and she was on the event sim overseeing, making sure we had people at the booth and running around the sim trying to get even more donations and taking it all in. If I was sitting next to her I bet her eyes were as big as saucers as she watched all the excitement and events on the sim. She spent more hours on that sim than anyone combined. I totally believe this was the year She drank the Kool-aid and wanted more.
No post would be complete without our almost walk of shame story… Its one Zadi and I will never forget….
A man walked up to our event booth and said he wanted a date with the rep who was at the booth, she said well a G rated date would be ok with her but then a flash of idea on her part.. we were after all raising money…. she auction blocked herself for the date. She had no shame to her game when it came to putting lindens in the Relay for Life vendor. He paid 11k and their date was sitting at the booth getting more people to donate. While zadi and I were freaking out when we heard ……the idea omg we just prostituted someone out for relay, the walk of shame would have been devastating to us…. BUT when we heard we were extremely relieved and excited when the date was just a ruse to donate to our kiosk WHEW!That was a close one! I think we all had those close calls and always grateful when they work out in the end.
When Zadi said she wanted to take the reins as captain the next year and me as Co-Captain so I would have more freedom because I was in the middle of Chemo for the 6th time I was grateful someone cared enough to keep it going, there was no way that I could have at that time. She has done an OUTSTANDING job of taking over the reins for me while I deal with my health issues and continue my fight. As I said she drank the kool-aid and was hooked.
Each Year breaks records for our team and more people get more driven to do more. Its an amazing to see. We may be a small and not a well known team as some of the others who bring in the big numbers but our hearts are big, our dedication is endless. We spend hours doing whatever we can and if we make a few lindens that was a few lindens we didn’t have. It doesn’t matter we will continue to push on. That is the great thing about this team we don’t get discouraged by what others do we do what we can do and as long as we gave it our best we are happy with the end results. I can say we all put lindens in the vendors when we can and even when we can’t afford it. Times are hard for people but I see it everyday. Team Members who has trouble paying their internet bill tomorrow will throw a few lindens in the kiosk because the enormous potential that Linden can have in someone else’s life. My team has dedication to cause and struggles, scratches and claws our way to a cure 1L at a time. I have been truly blessed this team has survived and continues to thrive and grow even from our most meager beginnings.
I called a meeting after the closing event for Relay and I know zadi was rolling her eyes knowing what was coming. The PEP talk for the next Relay Year. I am a never ending organized planner. Things have to be written down, explored, all sides looked at. Sometimes I think Zadi wants to throw my notebook at me. But I have to admit even with all the planning, Plans come and plans go, ideas thrown around, people who leave second life for personal reasons change the plans but nothing stops the team from moving forward. Its here its started!!! The kick off has come and now its time to get to work. So let us begin!
On a personal note
The day I found out I had cancer was devastating I was angry and hurt, but not surprised since my birth month had died from cancer, I knew I was living on borrowed time since then. But my doctor said not to worry they would take care of EVERYTHING. I was grateful I was Native American since I did not have any worry that I would be taken care of and my medical bills paid. But so many out there don’t have that luxury or fall back. I was so fortunate others are not. I do not take that for granted or will I ever forget my team of doctors who still work today to keep me here on this earth for my family and children and grandchildren. The American Cancer Society helps people who don’t have the same luxury I have. . We must not fail in our goals this is the most important thing we are ever going to be a part of saving peoples lives. To give back because I was given so much.
I have so many supportive people in my life. Who were there for me during ever single chemo treatment, every single time I was diagnosed that it was back, cheering me on as I was in remission and holding me up whether the news was good and bad. Im still fighting and hoping that this time will be the last time but if its not I will not stop fighting, I will win. My story will be posted along with other teams members in the near future.
I want to say a special thanks to Johnny Paramour, Taylor Paramour Hazie Moonwall, Paul Knowles, Saramarie Philly and Chille Hernandez for the amazing musical events you have done for us. Your contribution will never be forgotten. You hold a special place in my heart. You are all amazing people and the conversations I have had with each of you were filled with warmth. love and laughter, even some tears.
To Zadi and Kelsi for running to me a few days before a event completely wacked out when they forgot something and their relief when I would start passing them the thing I knew they would forget about knowing they would need it. Their dedication and loyalty to me and relay has been never ending. With added entertainment when I was on morphine after a surgery and running around running amuck, or coming home from the doctor and snoring in their ear being exhausted. Their sighs when they had to restart the sim to log me out…(wonder if zadi is cringing right now). Or when they changed my pain meds to the Fentanyl patch, or when she asks “Is it patch day?) btw today is patch day zadi… its these awesome times she will remember for a life time. But seriously if I am the reason and motivation , then they are the drive and dedication.
To Each and Every person on our team we would be nothing without you. I wish I could name you all but we would be here FOREVER!!!! But know that I appreciate everything you do!