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Time of Your Life

Once, twice… a very select few times in a lifetime… there is going to be something that makes you stop and reflect in a very profound way. More than the annual New Year’s evaluations and resolutions, more than the near-car-accident-turned-what-if kind of thinking…

Something that pushes you to really think about your life.

For me, I’ve never thought harder about, and appreciated, life more than while participating in Relay For Life. As a college student, I had the opportunity to not only attend but help organize the Syracuse University/SUNY-ESF events in 2010 and 2011, and those months of preparation and overnight hours at the event spent lapping the Carrier Dome with friends have stuck with me.

Relay For Life is an event held annually in communities worldwide. Started in 1985, the proceeds from the overnight events fund American Cancer Society research and support programs.

Syracuse Relay taught me how to work with others, how to better appreciate others – their talents, ideas and abilities. It made me recognize how many good people are out there willing to devote time, energy and money to a cause so vital as the need to fund cancer-fighting research.

Relay taught me a lot about myself.

The amount of coffee I need to stay up from 7a.m. Saturday to 9a.m. Sunday.

My strengths and weaknesses when in a position of leadership.

More importantly, my gratitude for life.

For health.

For my family.

For my friends.

To seize every day, to embrace every moment. To not leave things left unsaid. To know you can’t plan where life is going to take you but you can make the best of right now.

Relay taught me that cancer touches nearly everyone you and I know. If not our parents, our friends’ parents. If not our grandparents, our friends’ grandparents. Our brothers, sisters, cousins, professors, coworkers, neighbors.

And Relay taught me that people from every club, sport, classroom, community… Of every gender, ethnicity, economic status, age… will come together to fight it under one roof.

I was asked in May 2010 to co-chair the April 2011 event, and two months later my grandmother was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.

She’s still fighting.

I Relay because I want to see an end to cancer. For my family, for my friends, for me.

For the future.

The 2011 Syracuse Relay raised more than $174,000, beating the previous year’s record by over $15,000. Though graduated and off-campus, I remain close to the 2012 committee and am so proud of the work they’ve already done. The event is April 14 in the Carrier Dome, and I cannot wait to be there.

One of the biggest lessons I learned from Relay was that when you surround yourself with good people, together you can accomplish great things. I haven’t blogged much these past few days, but I’ve been busy. My friends of Syracuse Relay and Karma’s Army have partnered and I’m pleased both are letting me create some promos. Below is the first.

Thanks, friends. Now stop reading my blog and go call a friend you haven’t reached out to in awhile.

3 thoughts on “Time of Your Life”

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