It is a time for fun, a time for comaraderie, a time for food and drinks and a big, happy sleepover.
It’s also a time for quiet reflection, a bit of sorrow, and lots of anger directed at one word: Cancer.
The 2012 Boca Grande Relay for Life will be held on Saturday and Sunday March 24 and 25 at the Wheeler Street field. So far, more than 10 teams have signed up to participate in the event, and single people and families are encouraged to attend as well. There is no charge. All money spent on activities, food and drinks at the park will be donated to the American Cancer Society in the ongoing battle against cancer.
The theme this year is “Teaming up Against Cancer.”
Starting this week, we will run a story from a cancer survivor, or from someone who has lost someone dear to them to the dreaded, ugly disease. Below you will find Julianne Greenberg’s story. She lost her father one year ago to cancer. He passed away on March 2, 2011.
It was a year ago that I shared the exuberance with my dad. It had been over 20 years since I completed my last 5k run and I was so excited that I had actually completed the race. I had trained and completed the race in a decent time and I couldn’t wait to come home and call him and share my news. I picked up the phone and called him. The operator answered and connected me to his room. He was in a hospital room in Seattle, Wash., finishing his first night of chemo, his first cancer treatment in 10 years.
My father, my rock, my friend had endured so much in the years earlier that with much trepidation and fear he knew he was embarking on the most difficult fights of his life, again. He had fought through and conquered so much in the past decade of his life. He had lost weight, lost inches, lost independence, lost feeling in his extremities, lost his appetite, lost his joie de vie, and yet he managed to gain much while suffering from his debilitating disease.
He brought his family closer to one another, cemented bonds of friendship, forgave those who he had harbored ill feelings against, instilled strong values and morals into his children and became a more understanding, appreciative, loving husband. He had become the friend and father that he aspired to be. He was a man that enjoyed being surrounded by those that loved him and appreciated every moment he shared with them.
Those that knew him loved and respected him.
During my father’s decade-long fight with multiple myeloma, and then acute myeloid leukemia at the end, my family and our close friends endured much. My story however is not an unusual one. Sadly, I know of too many families and close friends that have been affected by similar circumstances. Each of us has our own unique anecdotes to add to the story but the plot, sadly often remains the same.
These stories are wonderful; they are filled with beautiful characters and colorful lives. Most share themes of despair followed by triumph, but in some there are too few pages that complete the tales of their lives. At age 65, on March 2, 2011, the story of my father, Corky Greenberg ended.
As I crossed the finish line this past Saturday, running in my second 5k run, as I stared up at the majestic banyan trees overhead, my thoughts were of my dad. I knew that he was with me, he would be proud of my accomplishments. Proud that I continued to be that strong woman he had been so proud of and, laughingly, he would have applauded my improved race time. I raced this past Saturday for the both of us. I participate and give of my time to Boca Grande’s Relay For Life for the millions that will be diagnosed with cancer. I am fortunate to be able to participate in The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life to support and encourage all that have gone through the battle of cancer, and so that many more can complete all the “finish lines” and goals they set for themselves.Boca Grande’s Relay For Life will be held on Saturday, March 24 on the Wheeler Street Ball Field. Our community goal is to raise $75,000 and we are slowly getting closer to reaching that goal. If you wish to help us to help others, please make a donation at the following island locations: Boca Beacon, Italiano Insurance, Island School, Hudson’s Grocery, Palm on Park, Gasparilla Inn, Sisters Restaurant, and PJ’s Seagrille.If you are interested in sharing your story with the Boca Beacon, please call us at 964-2995. We would love to hear from you.
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