After set up, the Relay started and our family went up on stage for our opening speeches. On the way up, Hannah said she was too nervous, she wanted to go after Colby. But, she settled down and got right up to the podium and started her speech. She wrote her whole speech herself, and we were so proud of her. I have a video of it that I will post here later. Hannah introduced Colby next, saying "I would like to introduce my sister Colby. She makes me feel happy when I'm not feeling good." Colby was next, and what a speech she gave. She really spoke from the heart and I thought her speech was very moving. I was next. It was quite a feeling getting up in front of all of those people. I wonder how many people were there. It certainly looks like a big crowd when you are standing up in front of all of them. I thought I would be pretty nervous, I've never been one for big public speeches. But, after I started, I wasn't that nervous. It actually felt quite easy after everything else we have been through. Speaking is nothing compared to watching your child scream in pain, or vomit uncontrollably or sit by herself, alone in a crowded room of her peers. I wasn't nervous, I just didn't want everyone to be bored!
After our speeches, we headed down to walk the survivor lap with Hannah. She was crying, and I thought it could be because she didn't want to walk alone. But, she said my speech made her cry. Dave and I walked that first lap with her, and she was so happy. She was smiling and waving to everyone that was gathered around the track clapping. She was limping but she made it. Colby joined us for the next lap, which was the survivor/caregiver lap. After that, everyone joined in around the track. At our tent, Hannah ran a "Magic Duck" game. She had a baby pool filled with ducks, each with a number on the bottom. We had lots of prizes, and lots of fun. We also had a "Tree of Hope." This is something I have wanted to do for so long in our house, I just never had the time (or the room) to do it. AFter our team finished our tree, we decorated it with lights, and then gold ribbons-the color of childhood cancer-with names of those to be honored. Our tree was so beautiful! I put names of all of the children I follow with cancer, both survivors and angels. We sold ribbons for $1 to raise money for the ACS. With our Duck Game and the Tree of Hope, we raised $215!
Our team was also in charge of the first "Quarters Lap." I read on Kasey Radford's site-HERE- about their Quarter Lap and immediately emailed our Relay organizers to see if we could include a Quarters Lap in honor of Kasey. Kasey lost his battle with cancer on February 2, 2009. The idea is to line the entire track with quarters, laid directly on the track. I calculated that is we made it all the way around the track, quarter to quarter, we could raise $7,940! We didn't quite make that, but to find out how much we made, and the rest of the information on the Relay, you have to check in again tomorrow. I'm so tired that I'm going to fall asleep typing (like I did last night) and I haven't downloaded my pictures from the night yet, so I have to finish the update tomorrow.
Thanks again for all of your support. I have the Relay pictures ready to go, and they will be to all of you soon.