A week ago I volunteered to photograph Relay for Life at Alonso High School in Westchase in Tampa. I was excited to finally be part of this event, which has been on my mind for the past few years. I lost my grandfather to cancer and saw him take his last breath… it was one of the most painful moments I remember, and even though it happened over 20 years ago, I still shed a tear when I recall this moment.
Relay for Life is a night-long event and it’s filled with continuous walks around the track, variety of activities, games, music, but most of all the Luminaria Ceremony. As night descends, the Luminaria Ceremony begins. All the lights are dimmed surrounded by deep silence. We all pause to honor and to remember those who have bravely taught the battle against cancer, to support the battle against cancer, and to support those currently fighting their fight…
The torch is lit & passed onto the survivors to carry in the quiet walk. The silence and sobbing was so heartbreaking in the peach black darkness of the night. The only light comes from the torch and a long line of Luminarias lit in support of survivors and those who's battle has ended... in memory of the friends, neighbors, co-workers and family members who are no longer with us.
* If you were part of this event and would like to view a full gallery of pictures, please, email me ([email protected]), I would love to share them with you!
An American Cancer Society is here to help. They have programs and services in your community to help people with cancer and their families. Their programs offer information, day-to-day help and emotional support.
To learn more about these programs, contact cancer.org or 800-227-2345