So as some of you will know, I was at home again over the weekend. It was only a flying visit as per, in on Friday out again Sunday Morning and honestly I always say it, a weekend is not long enough. Although I love being in England, there will NEVER be anywhere like home. You just take it for granted when you are always there but believe me, when you leave you soon realise, that feeling you have at home cannot be beaten.
When I was there I was fortunate enough to be able to take part in the Relay For Life which is an event run by the staff at Boots in association with the Irish Cancer Society. This was it’s second year running in Castlebar and I am so glad I got to go along this year and take part, even if it was only for a short while. I don’t think I know anyone who hasn’t been affected in some way or another by cancer.
What is Relay For Life you may wonder…. Its a 24 hour event held to raise awareness for those fighting cancer, let them know they are not alone, to celebrate with those who have fought cancer and come out the other side and to remember those who have lost their lives to cancer . It is a vital way to raise money for research for the Irish Cancer Society. You make up teams with friends and family members and one member of your team must be on the walking track at all times, but while that is all going on, there is entertainment all night long to keep everyone’s spirits high. You can find out more about Relay For Life here.
The event kicked off at 6pm on Saturday evening. I was there for the opening ceremony to support all those who have survived cancer as they opened with the survivors lap. This part would shock anyone, the amount of people both old and young who have had cancer. After this I had to dash off for a bit as there was an anniversary mass for my granda and my uncle. Once mass was finished I made my way back to the relay for life. I’m so glad I went back as at 10pm they held the candle of hope ceremony. There aren’t enough words I can use to describe this part. I don’t know if anyone who was there didn’t shed a tear during this. How this works is… People can buy a candle of hope bag before or during the event and you write a message on it, draw a picture anything you would like to show your support for those fighting cancer, those who lost their lives or even if you are the person going through it. All the bags are placed around the walking track and candlelight’s are placed in them.
Just before 10pm those organising, handed out candlelight’s to everyone to hold during the ceremony also. Then at 10pm, the lights were turned off and everyone stood together around the walking track. There was words of wisdom for those going through treatment and reflection for those who have lost their lives. I don’t think I have ever been in a room full of people but would have been able to hear a pin drop at any point.
After this when the lights went back on and teams continued walking I took some time to read what messages people had put on the bags. This nearly broke my heart. Seeing what people wrote down would bring tears to a stone heart.
I did also take part in some of the Salsa that was going on however, I can’t say I will be a pro salsa dancer anytime soon. It was fun to try though! I couldn’t wait over night as I was flying back to England early on Sunday morning but for the few hours I was there, I really enjoyed it.
This event is something I wish more people would get involved in. The bigger the crowds you have the better the atmosphere and energy it would have. None of the entertainment was being paid it was all voluntary and everyone taking part in the teams was there just to show support. If you hear about a relay for life taking part in your area, I encourage you to get involved in any little way, you won’t regret it.
For more photos from the night have a look at the Relay for Life Castlebar Facebook page, you can click here to the link.
Also here is some links to Relay for Life around the world:
Hope you have a lovely Wednesday!