#AtoZChallenge: R is for…



is for Relay. It’s also for Ride.

Relay for Life was always one of DW’s Dad’s favorites.  He always attended, always ate at the survivors’ supper, always walked his survivors’ lap. Family would come from a hundred miles away to take part in it with him. Some of them are cancer survivors themselves. So many in DW’s family walk that survivor lap in their yellow shirt on the day Relay for Life takes place. Her dad survived lung cancer. Her step-mom survived colon cancer.  I’m learning, there are some within my side of the family who could have walked that lap, too.

The day after the event he would put on a big shindig (party) and BBQ for everyone. People would come by the dozens.

Our town stopped holding the event so he missed out on it the past two years.

This year, he wanted to join the even in another town and it was going to be his last Relay. His last big support for the cancer research fundraiser since this would be his 10th year cancer free. DW had just finished setting up her own fundraiser page. Then she got a phone call…

This year, our Relay will be in memory of him. DW has raised $1,075 of her goal of $2,000. Please, if you can, click on the link above and donate. Whether you can give $5 or $5,000, every little bit counts.


is also for Ride for Roswell.

For eight years my younger brother has been participating in this bike ride fundraiser ranging from 14 to 44 miles. Our dad and his father-in-law take part, as well. Roswell Park Cancer Institute is located in Buffalo, NY, home of Niagara Falls and my sister-in-law. It is known for its cutting edge research on cancers.  This year, he rides for all who have been effected by cancer. Thus far, he has raised $704 of his goal of $1,000. Please, if you can, visit his page and donate here. There’s no telling how many lives you may change.


Brother on the left, Dad on the right, Brother’s F-I-L in the middle

I guess, ultimately, R is for relatives relaying and riding for research.


Two Charities


I mentioned it before in one of my Sunday Shares, but I’m going to mention it again.

A friend of mine had just finished running 26.2 miles in Boston in 2013. He was in the medical tent being treated for dehydration when the bombs went off.

He was invited back to run in 2014. There, he became connected with a charity called 50 Legs.


The purpose of 50 Legs is to provide amputees with the necessary care and prosthetics that they could not otherwise afford and help them live a happier and healthier life.

This morning he was interviewed on a radio station discussing that terrible day and what he’s doing now to contribute.

Have a listen.

If you feel so inspired that you’d like to give, you can visit Jody’s donation page here.


I’ve written of this second charity as well, but feel it deserves a mention, too. It’s my brother’s Ride for Roswell.

Roswell Cancer Research Institute in Buffalo, NY, provides care to patients and ongoing developments in better ways to battle cancers.

Funds raised through The Ride For Roswell support the cutting-edge research and patient care programs that benefit the 31,000 patients who turn to Roswell Park for hope.  Donations are further used to improve the patient and family experience, support new clinical treatments and procedures and educate the next generation of cancer scientists and clinicians.

This is the 7th year my brother has participated in this even. This year he rides in honor of Melina Selent. When she was just 10 months old she developed retinoblastoma, an eye cancer. Fortunately, it was just in one eye. Unfortunately, her eye had to be removed. That was in 1996. This summer she is scheduled to graduate with a BS in Biology.

My father is riding for the 7th consecutive year, as well. He rides in memory of my grandfather (my mom’s dad) and for a college friend of his.

Both have goals of reaching $1,000.


One is my brother. One is our dad. One is my brother’s in-law. 

If would like to donate to my brother, visit his donation page here.
If you would like to donate to my father, visit his donation page here.

It was In Me to Give

It was in me to give last night. Actually, it was in me to give four times this year. I’ve been giving, albeit not regularly until now, since I was 18. I’ve given over a gallon in the US. After 6 more donations in Canada I will have given a gallon here, too.

I’m not scared of needles. Yes they hurt. But not as much as cancer, or that car accident, or whatever is causing someone to need blood. Life, really. For what are you without blood?


you could saveTwo or three drops of blood can contains about a billion red blood cells. Within the red blood cell is hemoglobin, which the nurses check for with a quick blood sample from a prick to your finger. These hemoglobin are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your body and carrying carbon dioxide from the cells to your lungs to be expelled. They only live for about 120 days before being removed by your spleen. New blood every four months!*

The white cells fight off infections. Unfortunately, they don’t survive outside of the body any longer than 24 hours.*

The platelets are responsible for clotting. Without clotting we would bleed to death with the slightest cut. Platelets stop you from bleeding out.*

Plasma is the “river” that carries the cells and platelets to where they need to go.*

It’s all needed.

1pt blood

I almost forgot. They called me to ask me if I would be in. I was already 20 minutes late because we were having a late supper. I told them I was just finishing supper and then I’d be in.

I took Crash with me. He’s been several times now. He has a new MadLibs book that we’ve been having fun with, so we took that along to entertain us. Once Bang found out we were leaving, he wanted no part of being left behind. He’s never been.

But once he found out there would be cookies and juice at the end he turned up his angelic charm. They watched me get my finger prick. But I had to leave them momentarily to have my blood pressure checked and answer those questions about sex and drugs and monkeys.

Then it was on to give. They were fascinated by the oscillating machine that keeps the blood from clotting while being collected. Meanwhile, Crash and I filled out some MadLibs. Lightning bolts from their butts is a story for another post.

8 minutes later I was done. An hour after I walked into the clinic I was sitting at the juice and cookie table with my two best wingmen. They are currently both terrified of needles. But hopefully, one day they’ll be able to give, too. Hopefully, you’ll give, as well.

Plus, I often wonder while I’m donating, if something happens to me and I need blood, what are the chances I’ll get my own blood?



Your Support

The past three days I have written about mental illnesses. While we all know someone struggling in one way or another, we all have wondered what we can do to help. In some cases it’s as simple as leaving that person alone to fight their battle the best way they know how. Sometimes something needs to be done. It could be an encouraging word, it could be a homemade meal, a hug, a talk, or a good laugh or a good run.

Sometimes they will require more help than we can give. But we can still give. The ice bucket challenge to raise awareness of ALS also raised millions of dollars. Those millions of dollars were put forth into research to develop better treatments and hunt for the elusive cure. While there hasn’t been a viral charitable event for mental illnesses there are still some very successful ones.

Bell Aliant’s “Let’s Talk” initiative encourages people to text and tweet in order to raise money. Bell has committed over $73.6 million to support a wide range of mental health organizations, large and small, from coast to coast to coast. The money Bell donates gets used as grant money to any mental health charity who seeks their support. According to their web page their four pillars are Anti-stigma, Care and Access, Workplace Health, and Research.

There is also the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association). Their website states:

Your gift supports the Canadian Mental Health Association in its mission to promote mental health and help those with mental illnesses, while keeping our costs low. As the nation-wide leader and champion for mental health, CMHA facilitates access to the resources people require to maintain and improve mental health and community integration, build resilience, and support recovery from mental illness.

These two charities are Canadian based. A quick google search will deliver more local results for you.

Can we save the whole world? I don’t know, but it would mean the world to the to those who receive the help they need.

Cancer Can Kiss My Ass

relay for lifeToday our Relay for Life take place. DW has her Team SugarBear, Crash is on the all kids team, Magnificent Monkeys while Bang and I are there for support. It begins at noon and runs until midnight. Bang and I will get take part in most of it. We’ll be there until bedtime. DW has raised over $200. It’s not the $1,700 she raised when she shaved her head, but it’s still good. Crash bagged groceries at the SuperStore with some other Monkeys for donations. He participated in a fundraiser selling flower bulbs. Plus he raised over $100 in donations besides.

We will soon be off to support the survivors, including DW’s dad , step-mom, a cousin, along with some aunts and uncles. We’re also there to pay homage to those who have laid down their torch, including my grandfather and great-aunt and uncle and DW’s aunt. I might compile a more complete, specific list later. As for now, we’re off to walk the track!