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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Relay For Life

I have a really really special post for you today. Abra's story is inspirational and so is the message she's here to share today. We've all been affected by cancer in some way, lets do our part to help end this horrible disease. 
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Hello lovely Lemons, Avocados & The Bay readers! I’m super excited that Tammy is letting me take over her space for today, and super jealous that she is traipsing around Europe! I’ve had quite the girl/blog crush on Tammy for a while and I can’t wait to hopefully meet in person one day!

A little bit about myself: I am a native Californian and proud San Diegian, by way of the Bay Area and Boston (for a stint in grad school, one of my favorite cities besides San Diego, of course). I am here today to talk to you guys about something that is near and dear to my heart: Relay for Life. This year, I am proud to be on the committee of the Downtown San Diego Relay for Life, taking place on August 17-18th. If you don’t know what Relay for Life is, here is the scoop:
Relay For Life is the largest global fundraising program within the American Cancer Society. Relay is an amazing 24-hour walk event that includes Survivor ceremonies, live bands, contests, games, educational activities, silent auction, slide show, Luminaria ceremony, campfires, fireworks & of course walking! The idea is that cancer never sleeps, so we can sacrifice 24 hours to fight back against it. People form teams, set up campsites, and spend the day/night walking around a track & having fun together while honoring those they love who’ve been affected by cancer.

This year is my 9th Relay for Life event and I think it will be the best one yet (I say that every year--they only get better and better!) Let me tell you why I relay: I relay because I lost my mom to breast cancer when I was 15 years old.
My mom, circa late 70’s. She was always gorgeous.
Most of my childhood memories of my mom revolve around when she was sick. She was diagnosed for first time with cancer when I was 5, then when I was 10, and again when I was 15. Even though my mom was sick, I never thought I would be “one of those kids” that lost a parent. So let’s just say that when my mom passed away, I was in a bit of denial. I became the rock in my family, for my dad and little bro, and grow up a lot that year.  

A few months later, I heard about this Relay for Life thing that was happening in my community, but I was apprehensive. I wasn’t sure if it was something I wanted to be involved with. The wounds were still fresh and I didn't really want to talk about what was going on in my family. But let me tell you—that first Relay changed. My. Life. Here was a place where people were going through the same things I was going through—they lost a mom, a dad, a grandparent, a friend, or they were a cancer survivor. Since that first event, Relay for Life has become a place where I made some of my best friends, met the most courageous people, and learned that it’s still ok to be sad. Because of Relay for Life, I am confident that we will find a cure for cancer someday.
Relay for Life at UC San Diego
The great (or not so great) thing about Relay for Life is that everyone has a reason to be there. Every single person you meet has an amazing story and they will welcome you with open arms. Whether you want to come remember a loved one, honor a friend, honor yourself, and just offer support—I promise it will be a positive and powerful experience.
An oldie, but goodie. Love my family.
If you guys want to learn more about Relay for Life, feel free to check out the Downtown San Diego Relay for Life page here:
Or, you can visit my personal page:

I hope you will join me on August 17th at Relay for Life of Downtown San Diego. Thank you Tammy for allowing me to share my story with you. And thanks for reading, you guys! If you have any questions, you can email me at ablandau87 (at) gmail (dot) com. 
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Relay For Life will be in San Diego on August 17, and I think we should all do part to help! You can sign up to relay here, or donate to Abra's team here.

1 comments:

Ginny Riley said...

I'll be there and I can't wait for my first full-length visit to Relay!

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