Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Relay for Life 2009

The past three years, our family has participated in the Relay for Life of Hemet, an annual fundraising event for the American Cancer Society.  I first learned about the Relay in 2007 from Julie Pizzitola, who contacted me to ask if Matthew could be their poster boy (I've been corrected - he was asked to be the the Angel of Hope. But he had a poster sized picture, so I'm sorta kinda right, lol) for the Relay that year. I agreed not really knowing what I was getting ourselves into, and when we showed up to the Relay that morning,  I was asked at the last minute to give a speech about Matthew's story during the opening ceremony. Public speaking is one of my greatest fears, and with a few hundred people there, I didn't think I could do it. Chris wasn't there to bail me out, so I nervously got up on that stage with Matthew dancing around behind me, took the mic, almost threw up, and the words just flowed. It was awesome! I agreed to serve as the online chair the following year. It was fun but a lot of work! Unfortunately I couldn't commit to this years event due to a busy schedule, but there's always next year. Most cities have an annual Relay for Life event, it's worth checking out if you get the chance!

As most people know, Matt is a cancer survivor. He had ALL - Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He has been out of treatment for three years, and has two more to go before he is considered completely "cured".  I can't wait for the day when he gets his blood drawn and I don't have an anxiety attack while waiting for the results! Matt is a fighter and we know he's going to win the fight!

Here are a few pictures of Matt at the Relay. We didn't get to stay long, but he ran around the track a few times, made balloon animals and drank slushies. He also got his purple survivor shirt, of course. The Family of H.O.P.E team had an an awesome booth, and raised a ton of money! Those girls are amazing and put a tremendous amount of time and heart into putting on this event. As the mom of a cancer survivor, I am very thankful!

All the cards the girls on the Family of H.O.P.E. team made to sell at the Relay. Julie worked on these for a few months! I made a few packs too...:) They sold all of them and the proceeds went to the American Cancer Society.


Julie said...

These are great photos. You're getting very good Steph! THanks for the kudo's too. Matt was our 'Angel of Hope'...not poster boy you dork! LOL! Loved having you out there and your cards sold quick! I still have quite a few left.

The Bowden Family said...

Thanks Jules! Well...there was WAS a poster sized picture of him...so he was KINDA a poster boy, lol!

Ben's 3 girls said...

We drove passed this event just this weekend and Ben said, "I wonder what's going on there" of course I filled him and he honestly had no idea about how incredible Matthew's story was...so the evnt even touched Ben's life - even though he probably he wouldn't admit it.