Monday, May 13, 2013

I'm Still Standing! - Relay for Life 2013

Dear Friends and Family:

Relay for Life 2012
Last year I participated in Relay for Life
 during my last round of chemotherapy.
What a great day of victory!
Well, a year has passed since I finished chemotherapy when people ask how I feel, I always respond "Well, I'M STILL STANDING!!!!" It has been a long year of recovery, finding strength and mentally deciding to live for the day and future and not to live in a place of fear. This year I have been asked to help on the Elk Grove Relay for Life Committee and I have taken on the job of volunteer chair. I was also asked to be the special survivor speaker at the Luminary Ceremony. The Luminary Ceremony is the special ceremony held the night of relay where the field is lit with paper bags aglow that outline the track. After the ceremony portion and my speech, all in attendance will walk the track in a lap of silence. We will then walk a second lap with bagpipes playing "Amazing Grace." It is a humbling, sober time to say the least. The bags outlining the field have been donated in memory and in honor of thse who had battled and fought this nasty disease. 

Last year you, my friends and family, supported me so incredibly that I actually won the top fundraiser award. While all I actually won was a paper certificate... in my heart was the reality that you all supported and loved me in a way that earned $ for a cause close to my heart and an organization that I truly believe makes a difference in the life of cancer patients. (Feel free to read my story from 2012 to see how the American Cancer Society impacted me as a patient: 2012 Relay for Life Letter)

This year I ask, that you would consider making a $10 donation by dedicating a luminary bag to someone that you knew who lost their battle with cancer or in honor of someone you know who is fighting or has won the battle. What? You don't know anyone???? Then could I ask if you could make a donation in honor of my mom, Kris Randall, who is currently in the middle of chemotherapy for Triple Negative breast cancer. My mom was diagnosed this past March with the same nasty, aggressive cancer that I had. She is halfway through treatment and fighting hard. There is nothing more that I would love to walk the track in silence, seeing her name decorating the field, and knowing that every bag with her name on it is a bag of hope, prayers and wishes for her recovery.

The middle orange button on my fundraising page gives the option to dedicate a luminaria. Please be sure to add a message of love and encouragement for her and I will be sure to give her the message. 
Here's a link to my fundraising page: Kelly Joppa Relay for Life 2013

Thank you again for your love, support and encouragement. This will be a very special Relay for Life for me... as survivor and in celebrating a year of reflection of God's healing hand and the power of love, prayer and hope. 

Much love,

PS - I've been really lame at blogging... but I promise to post my speech on my blog so that you can all share in the evening.