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What started out as a site to update on our daughter's cancer has thankfully grown into a site to update on our beautiful family of four. Enjoy our journey...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Walk for LIFE

made by Grandma & Grandpa Preister
(Charli had 6 or 7 total, including one from Grandma & Grandpa Borg and other family and friends)
this was taken right before the survivors lap

WOW. What an amazing event to take part in. The sea of purple was overwhelming, bringing me to tears more than once.

All survivors wore purple shirts.

Opening ceremonies started around 7:00 with awards and honors given. The first lap was reserved for survivors only. Charli was the youngest, but sadly not the only child. We saw two other children under the age of 6 and I know there was at least one teenager that should have been there, not sure if he made it or not. The second lap was for caregivers and survivors. Grandpa and Grandma Preister came down and were able to take part in that lap with us. I was so glad to have someone there with us. Chad and I didn't give any thought to wanting family there for/with us until after the fact. The first lap was so emotional, everyone was clapping - for the entire lap. Of course it was happy clapping, applauding the strength and courage of all the survivors. It was bitter sweet for me. Before the lap all survivors spoke their name and how long they were cancer free into a microphone for all to hear. I said Charli's name "Charli Ann Preister"..."still in treatment". The person holding the mic interrupted and said "baby Charli Preister". That was hard for me to hear, I am not sure why that moment was hard...but it was. It was after that, that we took our first lap. We ended up taking a few laps around.

Charli was popular! Anyone who noticed she was in a purple shirt came over to talk with us and meet her. I know it breaks everyone's heart to see such a small child struck with this illness. We were blessed with so many kind words from strangers last night, and from those of you who we knew.

Grandpa and Grandma then offered to stay at the house so Chad and I could go back to the walk for the luminary ceremony. I am so glad we were able to do that. We did not stay to hear them say Charli's name, it was 11:00 and they were only to the "E's" they had so many names to say. However, we did get to take part in a touching poem, the silent candle-light lap, memorial song, and a memorial video.

It was a great experience. So sad to think of all the people effected by the event that brought all these people together.

Another time I will tell you about a very neat lady I met...Ben Hoover's mom, Launa. She lost her son five years ago, he was 18, to cancer. She did amazing things this year. Bless her heart. I am lucky to have met her.

I recommend that everyone take part in the Relay for Life in some way or another. I know that I have posted that they do not donate a lot of funds to childhood cancer, and that is correct. However, the feeling that you are left with after walking away will stay with you for life. At the end of the day, it is about the willingness to fight for a cure that is what matters.


Stacy from Michigan said...

You guys are truly amazing!! I mean that from the bottom of my heart!! As I sit here in tears from the relay pictures...I wonder why they have to make those purple shirts so small...these babies should not have to be there as fighter or survivors!!! I continue to keep your family in my prayers daily!! God Bless and Good Night!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

What a great day it looks to have been for you guys! One full of emotions that I am sure ranged from excited and happy to sad at times. It seems like you've came "full circle" with Charli and her treatments to have her in the Relay for Life as a "survivor". Great pictures Brenda and thanks for the post. I am sure it was a day you'll keep near and dear to your heart!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad you were able to make it to the event! Glad the evening went well for you! You are the strongest family I know! Our love to you always!
Heather, Aaron and Paydon!

Laurie said...

I was at the Relay for Life to, I wanted so bad to come up to you guys but got a little shy. Especially since you guys would have any idea who I was. Charli is cuter in person than the pictures I saw proud Grandpa walking her around the track. It was very emotional for me also I lost my dad 4 years ago to cancer and I just cried when they did the survivor lap I really wanted my dad to be there also.

Take care I hope you have a good day today and charli as she goes to Lynn's house.

Anonymous said...

I'm so proud of little Charli. It was good to see ya'll at the Relay.

Love your blog!
Monica Lee-Buss