Monday, July 23, 2012
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to those who donated to the American Cancer Society in this year's Steele County Relay for Life. Because of your support, I raised my highest amount ever of $1270 for the American Cancer Society, with this being my 7th year participating! $1270 from 32 donors! That is amazing!! Every amount, no matter the size is appreciated. Together we can and WILL make a difference.
If you are not familiar with the Relay for Life, it is a family-oriented event that involves teams of people who take turns walking or running around a track all night long…because cancer never sleeps! It is a unique celebration of life in honor and in memory of those who lives have been touched by cancer. It's a party-like atmosphere with fun activities, food, music, and entertainment!
Walking among the thousands of beautifully lite luminary bags is always touching. Even with the extreme heat and humidity, it was, just as it always is, an amazing night to reflect, honor, and celebrate.
I relay to honor and support everyone affected by cancer. I relay for my father, Alan, a 36 year cancer surivor! I relay for other cancer survivors, my friends: Michael, Sue, Pat, Georgia, Kelly, Cindy, Jodi, Carmen, Duane, Alan, and family: Nick's uncle Pat, Nick's great aunt Sister Mary Nicholas
I relay for those who have lost the battle to cancer, my friend Karla (26 years old), my friend Joel (30 years old), my uncle Gary (23 years old), my Grandma Flandrick, my Grandpa Flandrick, and my Grandpa Cox.
And many many others...
CELEBRATE. REMEMBER. FIGHT BACK!
So, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Ava, Cora, Eli, & Will watching their Grandpa Cox walk the SURVIVOR lap and cheering him on:
My dad walking the Survivor Lap:
My dad, my Cancer WARRIOR:
When I think about how my father is a cancer survivor and how I was born 4 short years later, I am reminded of God’s true power. He works miracles everyday, even in the simplest of ways when we fail to see it happening right in front of us! I count my blessings and thank God that I am able to be alive...able to live, laugh, and love each day. Whenever my time on earth is done, I hope that I have lived a life much the same as my father – full of faith, hope, and love...always showing and never doubting God’s love.
Often I ask my father if he has cancer right now. I worry that if he did have it again, he wouldn’t tell us because he wouldn’t want to worry anyone. He’s always more concerned with other’s feelings above his own! But as much as I fear losing my dad, I know that if I did, I would survive. I would live my life looking ahead to the day we would meet again in heaven. And even if I couldn’t be with him in person, I always find him close to me in my heart...because my dad is my heart.
My father is an amazing person. I am thankful God kept my dad around to share himself and his love to the world for many more years! He has truly touched the hearts of everyone he has met. My dad...a quiet and patient man, so full of wisdom and love. He is always a true comfort, knowing the exact thing to say in any and every occasion of life. As a faithful Christian dedicated to his family and his Savior, he is truly my inspiration. Thank you, dad, for all you do and all you are. Thank you for teaching me what life is all about. I LOVE YOU!
My sister and I walking a lap on the track with our dad:
Another lap with the twins:
The kiddos cooling off in our campsite pool:
My family: (We missed you, Corrie, Josh, Erin, & Ryder!)
My little family:
Two of my all time favorite little girls, my nieces: Ava & Cora
My favorite big sister, Jesse: (well, I guess she's also my ONLY big sister!)
My mom and dad:
My friend, Sara:
My friend, Lisa:
Part of the "Light Your World" team members: (And Cindy, a cancer survivor!)
More of the "Light Your World" team: (The ones of us still going strong at 12:30am!)
I named and started our "Light the World" team 6 years ago. Here is our t-shirt logo. It says, "Even the smallest candle burns bright in the darkness."
Luminary bags I made in honor of my dad, a testicular cancer SURVIVOR:
In 2009, my dad was the Honorary Chairperson for the Pipestone County Relay for Life. Here is his speech he gave that tells a little more about his cancer story:
By Alan Cox - Honorary Chairperson - Pipestone County Relay for Life
June 12, 2009
It is a real privilege to be here to be asked to be part of this Relay for Life. In 1960, 49 years ago, my older brother died of testicular cancer. I was 12 years old and he was only 23. He left a wife and three young children. At the UCLA medical center, they tried everything they could. But it had spread too much, too fast. Seeing my big brother loose his battle with cancer made me learn to appreciate every moment of life.
In 1976, 33 years ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, the same thing as my brother. Watching my brother battle cancer made me more aware of what might be going on, what could happen to me. With my new bride Sheri, our thoughts of starting a family quickly turned to thoughts of how long I might be alive. I had surgery to remove the tumor. The doctors then said that my cancer could spread quickly. The decision was to either have more surgery to stop it, if it was spreading, or do nothing more. I chose not to have more surgery, to do nothing. A 50/50 chance. It was either spreading and I was going to die, or it would have all been removed with the tumor and I would live. Even though my daughters were not yet born, I think they were there whispering in my ear, helping with my decision, because you see, if I would have chosen more surgery, I would have never been able to father any children.
Because of knowing of my brother's cancer, my early diagnosis, the skill of the doctors, and the grace of God, I do feel truly privileged and blessed to be here. To be alive 33 years later, still with my now “old” bride Sheri, 4 daughters and 2 granddaughters.
Throughout my time with cancer and through all my emotions of fear and anxiety, I never lost faith and hope. With faith and trust that God is in control and hope that everything happens for a reason, I stayed strong.
At Christmas this past year, my daughters gave me this cap that I’m wearing that says “Cancer Warrior.” I believe all of us are cancer warriors...fighting this fight, and inspiring and supporting each other with faith, hope, and love.
Heb. 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Luminary bags I made in honor of family:
My Uncle (died of testicular cancer):
My Grandpa (died of prostate cancer)
My Grandpa (died of bladder cancer)
My Grandma (died of breast & lung cancer)
Elijah and Grandpa Cox walking at the Relay for Life:
Will and Grandma Cox walking at the Relay for Life:
May my dad’s story bring you hope, peace, and joy. Hope to know that God holds you in His hands...peace to trust that everything happens for a reason...and joy to remind you that one day you will be together with your loved ones for eternity in heaven.
God Bless you all!!
The American Cancer Society Relay for Life has united communities for a quarter of a century to celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against the disease. Relay for Life supports the ACS’s work to save lives by helping people stay well and get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. Together, we’re creating a world with less cancer – and more birthdays.
Posted by Amy Cox Vincelli