Almost half of all Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their life, and almost if not all Canadian know someone who has or had cancer. There are over 100 different types of cancer and no definite cure. This is why I relay.

I know several people who have survived cancer. But I also know just as many that have died. To make it even worse, there will be others I love that will get diagnosed in the future. This is why I relay.

Accept the baton. That was the challenge posed to everyone at Toronto’s Relay for Life event which took place at Fort York on Saturday. I was a crew member and volunteered for most of the day, which was such a rewarding experience.

Starting at 4:00 I stood on the corner outside Fort York directing people to the event and answering questions of pedestrians. At 6:00 I returned for opening ceremonies and walked the first lap with everyone else. After that I settled into my position in the activity tent, helping run fun and active events such as Zumba, yoga, and belly-dancing. I also worked in the relayer’s holding area, handing out freebies.

For those that don’t know how relay works: Every hour or so there is a theme lap, such as Mardi Gras, Beach Party, Cowboys, Hawaiian, and others. During each lap the relayers get little freebies such as beads (Mardi Gras) and beach balls (beach party). Everyone loved playing with them, and it made the repetitive circuit a lot more fun. Everyone was so friendly and there was a lot of dancing!

I also saw a few of my pageant sisters at the event, because there was a Miss Teenage Canada team! I’m so proud of Neha (Miss Teenage GTA), Sam (Miss Teenage York Region) and Shayna (Miss Teenage Durham Region) for coming out and participating! I loved getting to see them and spend time with them lapping. The biggest thank you goes to Shay for supporting me during the luminary walk. Love you girl <3

Speaking of that, the luminary walk. A luminary bag is decorated in honour of someone and a candle is placed inside. They light the track. The luminary ceremony is the most emotional part of the night as everyone stops walking to take a moment of silence for those we have lost. Next, everyone takes a silent lap around the track with their teams, often holding hands and supporting each other. Almost everyone participating has lost someone to cancer, and it is in this moment that we sit and reflect.

Overall, this event was absolutely amazing. I’m so glad I got to volunteer, and I can’t wait to go again.

Xoxo, Cristina

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I walked in honour of my Aunt Luci and Uncle Ghita. Who will you walk for?

 

Written by: Cristina

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