Monday, June 21, 2010

Why We Relay: 2010

We are in our last week before the Relay For Life.

Today's a bittersweet day as we prepare.

This year, we dedicated our involvement in Relay to four people special to our son (and to us).
  • Our first reason is Jim Connolly -- who Thomas knows as Santa.  He's the "Connolly" of Connolly Tacon & Meserve, where Jonathan is an attorney.  He was diagnosed with kidney cancer in December 2009.
  • Our second reason is Dick McEntee -- who is known as the grandpa of Thomas's BFF, Daniel.  Dick and his wife Kathy were the mentor couple to Jonathan and I as we prepared for marriage.  He was diagnosed with lung cancer in February.
  • Our third reason is Fr. Terence Wager, OSB -- our priest at St. Columban in Yelm, and the priest who baptized Thomas.  He passed away from throat cancer in February.
  • Our fourth reason is Thomas's Grandpa Mauss, also known as my dad.  He was diagnosed with skin cancer in March. 
We've been praying especially for Jim and Dick over the past few weeks -- as their journeys have become increasingly difficult.

Yesterday, Dick McEntee lost his battle with cancer.  He was welcomed to heaven after a peaceful death with his family by his side.  Though our hearts are sad, it gives us hope to know what an incredible welcoming reception he must have had, led by his wife Kathy.  She was an organizer extraordinaire.  :)

We prepare for Jim's celebration this Friday.  His most recent CT scan and X-ray show that he has a small new tumor on his left arm and he begins IV Toricel again each Thursday.  We hope that he will be able to join us for the Survivors Lap at 6 pm, and we will be bringing together his whole support group (affectionately called "Connolly's Crew") together for a special lap immediately following. 

One of the best parts of Relay For Life is that it truly gives you a chance to fight back.  In the midst of sadness, struggle, pain, relief and emotion.  We celebrate those who are fighting, remember those we've lost, and fight back together.

Through the work of the American Cancer Society, lives have been changed.

And though two of the reasons we Relay are no longer with us here on earth, we Relay so that Dick's grandchildren and Thomas and kids their age will be able to live in a world where cancer is not a death sentence.

And we are helping make that possible.

We sent out our first-ever fundraising letters to our family and friends this year.  The letter was written from Thomas. 

In case you wanted to read the Wee Ski's letter, here's a copy.  The backside of the card is below it.  

And the back of the card:

We are fighting back.

We love you, Dick.

Praying for the repose of your soul, and for the strength and peace of your amazing family still with us.

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