Myself and my husband, Mark were both diagnosed with cancer in June 2017. I needed treatment that year and Mark needed it the following year. I came through the treatment cancer free. Unfortunately, my lovely hubby Mark died from an infection while on treatment in November 2018, although he was cancer free too.
Two months later I saw an ad on facebook about a group called Relay, who walked for an hour each Monday evening so I thought I’d get myself out of the house and go walking with them.
On my first evening, I had a lovely walk and a great chat with the lovely Imelda. At the end of the walk, someone asked me (Jayne I think) what my story was. As I began to explain that I had recently lost my husband, I started to cry and at that moment, some of the women came and threw their arms around me. I started to apologise, but they said, ‘that’s what we’re here for!, that’s what we’re all about’….. I’ll never forget those words!
The next week, my sister Bernie joined in the walk and over the following weeks, we heard more and more wonderful things about the Relay for Life Weekend. It sounded wonderful and we couldn’t wait for it to come about. We were asked if we’d like to get a team together, and we said Yes. My sister Bernie was my co-Captain from day one. We put the word out among our family and friends to see if they’d like to join the team and before we knew it, we had 33 people. That’s the wonderful thing about Relay for Life, it really brings people together.
Relay for Life 2019 was our first, and it was the most amazing experience. Looking out from our tent at the sea of purple, white and orange t-shirts, and all sorts of costumes, there was a real sense of being part of something massive, with everyone Celebrating, Remembering and Fighting Back! The music played and the sun shone and everyone was smiling and having a great time. The Candle of Hope ceremony was especially emotional for myself and my daughter, Aoife, and everyone else who had lost someone, or who had supported someone through their cancer journey.
As you know, because of Covid-19, Relay 2020 was a virtual event. We Relayed in my garden - even our 92 year-old mother took part. This year our team is called The Fit, The Fab and the Funny. We really look forward to doing it all over again in July and have already gathered some very nice things for our Raffle.