I participated in Oregon State’s Relay for Life last night/this morning. From 5PM on Friday ’til roughly 6:30AM this morning, I hung out with my team and other Relay teams on the MU quad for a good cause.
Over the course of the night/morning, I walked [only] about 7 miles–not much, but about as much as my poor knees and hips can handle. One of my teammates walked for a solid nine hours, stopping only when told to join teams up at the stage for a ceremony.
I don’t want to diminish the emotional weight of the Relay’s message. But as I chatted with some teammates, I joked about how participating on our hall’s team is directly related to my degree and my job. It’s student involvement. It’s community-building. It’s community service. And it was powerful to learn about why my teammates were relaying.
Along the track, illuminated bags–luminaria–lined the path. As the coordinators said, each bag represented a person, lives lost, and lives won. Each bag was created by someone else who cared for these other people.
It’s humbling to remember that a disease like cancer can affect anyone at any time. But it’s inspiring to know there are people that look beyond their own lives toward a greater purpose and meaning.
Now, it’s not to say the Relay was only crying and emotion–it was also about individuals enjoying the company of friends working toward a common goal. Laughter is the best medicine, right?
So… enjoy the photo of the team that donned Pac-Man costumes for several laps.