Walking the Track

Amie - Mesa, Arizona
Entered on September 17, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

It would seem to get repetitive after my feet strolled across the brown turf and white lines for an hour at a time. While staring at the blonde ponytail swaying back and forth in front of me. Passing by the same things repeatedly in a big circle. The miles added up as I walked the track, hours at a time for twenty-four hours. Surprisingly, I would have stayed for another twenty-four hours.

Signing up for the Relay for Life was one of the most unforgettable and rewarding things I have experienced in my life. A few years ago, my grandfather passed away from cancer and my grandmom is a survivor so there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to participate in this event. I arrived that afternoon and was greeted by happy faces and excited people. The first lap started with a crowd of pink, all of the cancer victims alone. Everyone else gathered along the edges of the track to cheer them on. As they walked the lap in their pink shirts, I could hear the cheers growing louder and louder. They knew that I was there that day to support them in their fight.

After a few laps around the track everyone gathered together for a moment of silence. I can still see the flames burning that lined the seats of the bleachers spelling out the word “hope”, I can hear the tears falling in remembrance of those who have been lost, and I can feel the comfort of hugs being shared all around me. Following a lap participated by everyone dedicated those who lost their fight to cancer, a few victims spoke of their experiences and thoughts. I specifically remember hearing the voice of nine-year-old Katie Doty. She is a victim of leukemia. I am yet to meet a young girl more appreciative or cheerful then her. When she spoke in front of everyone I could feel the sincerity in her voice about how thankful she was for the support she had from everyone. I can still remember the phrase she spoke that night. “Cancer is not prejudice. It likes people of all ages, sizes and colors. It does not care if you are black, brown, or white, or if you have curly hair or straight hair”.

Later while enjoying my time and dancing to music with all of my friends a little two year old, in that pink shirt, walked up to me. She looked up at me with her big brown eyes and gorgeous little smile. I couldn’t resist but to just take her tiny little hand and start dancing with her. Her big brown eyes got even bigger. That simple moment I focused my attention on her made her day that much brighter, it took her sickness away from her for that one moment.

Participating in this event truly encouraged me to take advantage when I am handed the task to help someone out. I believe in walking the track. In taking advantage of the opportunities I am given to help others. Taking part in the Relay for Life was an emotional experience for me. It gave me the knowledge to realize how lucky I am that my friends and family are healthy, that I am healthy. It let me know simple tasks of helping, and even supporting others, can make me people extremely joyful. I believe in walking the track, getting your car washed on the corner, and tossing your extra change into that bucket on the counter.