This is my sweet Grandma, Emily. She lost her battle with cancer when I was in my teens and my desire to honour her memory is the driving force behind my involvement in Relay for Life. I spent many an hour sitting with my Grandma as she underwent treatments at what is now the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre. This year for the very first time The Jersey Girls have registered to be a Juravinski team, which means 100% of the funds raised by The Jersey Girls will stay at JHCC and help fund the purchase of a new anesthesia machine. I am so excited to be able to repay some of the care and kindness shown to my Grandma during her fight with cancer while also helping bring a much needed piece of medical equipment to our community.
I wish I could say the story ended there. I wish I could tell you I had no other reasons to walk, but I can't. That lovely lady there is Papa Joyce, Great Grandma extraordinaire to our Abby girl. Unfortunately Maya was not yet ready to meet the world when we lost Papa Joyce, but it was our honour and pleasure to name Maya after her. The handsome gent beside her is Papa Al who is continuing to show cancer who's boss even at 92. If only my list ended there.... I walk for Cliff, Hamburger Bob, Papa Mark, Sue, Janet and UG. This year Abby, Maya and I are dedicating our walk in memory of Miss Galligan a beloved teacher at our school. I feel so incredibly blessed that my girls had her as a teacher if even in just a small measure. She was an incredibly lovely lady and she will be greatly missed.
In my experience grief is never ending. It changes, for sure. You learn to live with it. It becomes less acute over time, but there is never a time I don't miss my Grandma or Papa Joyce. Relay for Life allows me the opportunity to not only mourn my lost loved ones, but also celebrate them and do some good for the community at large. I am only one person, but put me together with a handful of my best girls and then put us together with dozens of other teams and that translates into tens of thousands of dollars that go towards medical research, cancer support services and programs, advocacy and medical equipment. When we walk on Saturday the Jersey Girls will share some tears, some hugs, we'll hold hands and there will be laughs and lots of lots of walking. We work hard for your donations on Relay day, we sure do. Thanks to all who have made a donation to The Jersey Girls (don't worry there's still time left to donate) it is appreciated more than I can say!