BY LAURIE FURNEY
The date is firmly put in my date book each July for the next year. June 21 is our date for this year and marks the 10th anniversary of the Relay For Life returning to the Pine River area.
Our team from Emmanuel Lutheran Church has participated each year. What keeps me coming back? The letters in the word RELAY sum it up.
The R is for remembrance of so many relatives and friends affected by cancer. I remember my dad, my grandma, aunts and uncles, all who faced cancer. I am reminded of the strength and hope in the faces of survivors.
The E in “relay” for me is when I am enlightened by the wisdom of a survivor. I see the faces on those who have or are struggling with cancer. They are willing to share their knowledge, their experience and their hope for the future.
The L is for the luminaries that light the darkness. They are lit to honor or remember those with cancer and there are so many names. It is an awesome sight in which we walk throughout the night!
The A in relay is for the atmosphere at the Relay. It is a COMMUNITY fight against cancer and you feel it and see it in everyone you meet. The opening ceremony, visiting campsites, reading names on the luminary bags and the luminary lighting are some of the highlights of the evening.
The Y in the relay is for you and me — ordinary people fighting back against a disease in order to celebrate more birthdays.
The Pine River-Backus Area Relay for Life will be held on Friday, June 21, at the Pine River-Backus School track. Everyone is welcome to experience this community event. Hope to see you there.
(Laurie Furney is team captain from Emmanuel Lutheran Church.)