I had the privilege of attending this year’s Relay for Life event on April 19th at Gustavus Adolphus College.
My son Matt was honored to be your student speaker this year. Matt was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia during his senior year of high school in February, 2009, and just finished up his last chemotherapy in August, 2012.
Currently he is in remission. This is the third year I have attended the event at Gustavus and our family has participated in Relay for Life in Le Sueur County, where we live, for many years. I want to congratulate the Gustavus Relay for Life committee and all of the students and faculty for such a wonderful event.
This year when I walked in the door to Lund Center I could just feel the excitement, passion, and momentum. Not that there has not been this feeling the other years I attended but this year there was just something special in the air. There were so many more students and teams participating than in the past couple of years and their energy just resonated throughout Lund Center.
The part of the evening at Gustavus that once again brought tears to my eyes was the luminary ceremony. Hundreds of college students walking in complete silence in the dark illuminated only by the lit bags honoring, or in memory, of their loved ones.
And then, equally as silent and reflective sitting down in the dark and watching the slide show, again in honor and in memory of their loved ones. It was so beautiful.
I want to thank the Relay for Life committee for all of your hard work, all of the students for caring and for raising so much money, and the entire GAC community for recognizing the importance of this fundraising event. As the mother of a cancer survivor I want you to know that you do make a difference and that you are appreciated for all of your efforts. Thank you for your hugs, your tears, your encouragement, and for being so supportive of my son.
My hope is that together we will continue to raise funds and bring awareness so that someday a cure will be found for all cancers.
The back of Matt’s purple survivor shirt this year said “I Am Hope.” Thank you for helping to give our family hope.