Why I Relay – Mike

Why I Relay

By: Mike Harland

I’ve put writing this off as long as I possibly can. Sometimes, I just want to forget the reasons that bring me to walk. It’s painful and distracting myself from the focus of the all-to-real reasons is sometimes my best fight.

I remind myself, though, that those same reasons are what needs to drive all of us to continue to come together to raise money, to raise awareness, and work towards a day that we can win over the disease that has taken so many moms, dads, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands, sisters, brothers and friends.

The first reason I Relay will always be my toughest. I lost my mother far too many years ago and she was just too young to be taken from us.

We weren’t ready.

We needed her.

And her loss left a hole that is hard to cover up.

aunt-jane-loving-memory jen-mike

My next reason is just as close to home. My sister, probably the one person in my life that has been a constant, is battling Melanoma. A girl that never did anything wrong, always did for others before herself, and is one of the best people I know is now fighting for her life in her mid 30’s. If I lost her, I don’t know what I would do, so walking for awareness and for this cause is something that I’m impelled to do.

jen-treatmentjen-ribbon

But why else do I Relay? Well, aside from my mother and sister, a couple of my aunts have battled cancer, my uncle has passed from cancer, one of my grandfather’s had breast cancer, the other passed from lung cancer, and one of my grandmothers also passed from this disease.

So I Relay for them…

But more importantly, I look at all of that data and start to assume that myself, my children, my nieces and nephew are all at great risk for developing some form of this disease.

adorno-harlands aunt-jane

So I Relay for them.

I Relay for you.

I Relay for the cure.

I Relay in the hope that nobody has to deal with what so many of us have dealt with. It’s not fair, it’s painful, and hopefully we can all continue to work together to win this war.

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