Relay participant is passionate about event

With this year’s New Egypt Relay for Life only a few weeks away, I wanted to share my story of the battle against cancer.

My son and I participated in New Egypt’s Relay for Life three years ago for the first time. What better way to show my support and celebrate my father, who is a cancer survivor? I helped my team raise money [and] frankly, it was a lot of fun.

I never expected the first lap, the “Survivor” lap, to have the impact it did on me. When my father’s name was announced, my 2-year-old son, Mason, met him on the track, held his hand, and completed the first lap with him and all the other survivors. While he was too young to understand my father’s battle with cancer, he knew we were celebrating his “beach Gampop.”

Then later, when it got dark and the luminaries that lined the perimeter of the track in memory of or in honor of a loved one were lit, my son was almost mesmerized. As I carried him around the track, he asked me why people were crying. I simply told him that cancer, a bad disease, took their relatives or friends to Heaven.

Ever since then, whenever we drive by New Egypt High School, he gets excited and asks me when we can decorate the luminaries and go walk around the track again at Relay. Now my son is 5, and he is still too young to make sense of cancer. However, he knows how passionate we are about being a part of Relay, where together we can make a difference.

If anyone wants more information about Relay for Life at New Egypt High School on June 10-11, wants to join a team, make a donation, or find out how you can help, please contact me at (609) 723-0271. Everyone is welcome.

Julie Bell