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Survivors’ Lap – You Should All Come Out

Relay For Life 2018 – April 25, 2018

There are many components to a successful Relay for Life: motivated teams, committees, entertainment, restaurants, churches, businesses, police and park boards just to name a few.
While there are lots of hands working extra hard to pull off this year’s Relay, one unknown variable is survivors. We ask our teams to invite survivors to Relay, we place invitations in area church bulletins inviting survivors to come out, and we extend an invitation in the area papers and radio.
Since we didn’t have a Survivor’s Luncheon this year, we’re not sure how many survivors to plan on. I’d like to address that.
I think ALL of you should come out.
It’s estimated that there are 12 million survivors living in the United States at this very moment. While it would be super interesting if 12 million people came out to Okawville in May to celebrate their survivorship, I think, statistically, there are about 800 survivors living in Washington County.
So who’s a survivor? Anyone who’s been told ‘you have cancer.’ Any type of cancer, any kind of treatment. If you’ve heard those words two days ago or 22 years ago, we want you in Okawville May 11 about 4:30ish. We’ve got a free shirt just for you, we’ll help you around the track if you need assistance and we’ll introduce you to your people, your tribe so to speak. Because, let’s face it. Anyone in a purple survivors shirt has been in your shoes and gets it like no other person can.
I know in the past the Survivor’s Lap has been a bit, well, dull. A bit of a letdown. Survivorship is a huge, big, colossal deal and I’d like to apologize to any survivors who felt letdown. Having cancer is hard and you deserve better. I mean you flippin’ beat cancer! Well that ho-hum lap ends now because this year, the survivors are going to be escorted by a snazzy, fun Dixieland-style band celebrating YOU. It’s going to be upbeat! It’s going to be toe-tapping good! It’s going to be exhilarating! We’re going to be celebrating YOU because SURVIVOR’S ROCK!
Full stop: I know I run the risk of looking like a lunatic, jumping up and down cheering on my daughter and her WashCo survivor friends as they walk proudly around the track accompanied by this peppy brass band. I can picture how I might look as you pass me.
It’s a chance I’m willing to take.

– Rebecca Ruehl

See you ALL Friday, May 11 in Okawville Park about 4:30ish
Opening Ceremonies begin at 5 pm

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