Flashback to last week Friday, June 9th, 2017 where I took part in the Relay For Life event. An event to support cancer patients, celebrate survivors, remember the deceased and to raise funds to enhance cancer research.
“At Relay For Life, no one faces cancer alone. These events bring together teams of family, friends and colleagues to celebrate cancer survivors, remember those we’ve lost and commit to raising funds to fight all types of cancer. Relay For Life is a community of people fighting back against cancer.
Relay For Life is a festival-like fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track or designated path. Our events are 6 to 12 hours in length, depending on the location. Each team taking part is asked to have at least one member on the track at all times to symbolize the ongoing fight against cancer. On and off track, there is always something to do at Relay For Life. Those taking a break from walking can check out the entertainment and many activities, or relax at their team’s campsite.”
In May, 2017, sadly two people I know died of cancer, one was my friend in Nigeria whom we attended the same secondary (high) school, the other person was one of my Canadian neighbours, she was a Nigerian who just recently moved to Canada a year ago. It was a painful thing to loose these 2 young people to cancer just as we have lost thousands of people to same. May their souls Rest In Peace.
That was one of the reasons why I decided to join the Relay For Life event when it was brought up at work, to lend my voice and support in my little way. My workplace brought together a number of us that were interested and formed a team. At the time, that I registered, I had forgotten the date would be during Ramadan, yet that didn’t deter me from still participating. If there is anything Canada and Canadians have taught me, it is selflessness. People give their all to support others, people take part in communal activities just to support others and good causes, people selflessly donate money and give their time to support these good causes.
There were teams from various companies and organizations and even individual participants who also took part in the event. Even though it rained last week Friday, yet people still took part in the event and we wore raincoats during the relay, both young and old. I saw a man who also participated in the relay on his wheelchair. Survivors were there, people who have lost family and friends to cancer and people who just came out to support.
My workplace tagged the Relay event #CapgeminiCares day, also other related events took place in other countries where the company is, all geared to support the various communities that we do business in and to commemorate the company’s 50th anniversary coming up in few months, tagged #MoveFifty. So #CapgeminiCares and #MoveFifty were successful events in the locations that they took place.
We actually registered with personal money to be a part of the Relay event, we were also asked do individual and collective fund raising, all geared to support cancer research and render support to people who need it. I understand the goal was to raise $26,000 to support Canadian Cancer Society, which I hear was successful.
It was a worthwhile experience even with the rain downpour.
The Relay For Life event was from 7.00pm to 1.00am, with each group doing 90 minutes each. The first was 7.00pm-8.30pm, which I was part of so I could go break my fast by 9.00pm (that is the time Muslims break their fast here). The other groups were 8.30pm-10.00pm, 10.00pm-11.30pm, 11.30pm-1.00am. There people who stayed all through the 6 hours, 7.00pm to 1.00am.
There were refreshments and light music to entertain us. I enjoyed the life bands with their subtle music.
My humble admonition to us all will be to be more health aware, ensure you go for regular check up. Dear women, two of the most cancer that affect us is breast and cervical cancer, so ensure you do routine checks, likewise men, prostrate cancer is quite rampant among the men folk. Let us do routine check as they say that early detection is key in treating cancer. There are more cancer affecting both gender and even young children, so let us pay more attention to our health. My second admonition will be to support one another. Let us support those who already have cancer, the survivors and do your bit in your community to support the research of cancer and how we can deal with it in our little and collective way.
Let us love one another more and be selfless.
Remember, cancer is real.