Menomonee Falls included a climbing wall in its Relay for Life activities this year and my niece, Miss Erin “Spidey-Legs” Utley, jumped right on.
The wall acted as an amusing activity and an appropriate metaphor for everyone circling past it. Cancer and the drive to cure it remains an uphill climb, but, step by careful step, we’re getting there.
I think about the innovative procedures and advanced drug therapies developed just in the three years that we’ve been participating in this walk, and I walk each lap with a little lighter, more hopeful step.
The first lap in every Relay for Life is for the survivors and we were thrilled to see so many striding strong. Our favorite T-shirts are the purple “Survivor” shirts. The second lap is for the survivors and their caregivers and it was lovely to see so many smiles on their faces as well.
Throughout the night, contests and games take place on the infield. I made an embarrassingly brief appearance in the hula hoop contest, and will be bringing my own hoop next year.
The evening concluded after sunset with a luminary ceremony, and, while we’re always sad to add our bags with names of friends and family members who lost their battle with this disease, we appreciated that, together, the bags spelled hope.