Relay for Life

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One humid afternoon in 2009, my father asked me to grab my camera and take some pictures of an event he had been working on. I knew it was some sort of fundraiser, but that was about it. But I went, took the pictures, and helped out where I could.

Fast forward a few years, and I got same request. Only this time it was from my wife, and I actually knew a little bit more about its purpose. Over the years, I had seen more and more people affected by this nightmare.

My childhood babysitter. Friends from church. Members of my extended family. My mother in law. My uncle. And then… Me.

On January 15th of 2015, it became exceedingly personal for me when my doctor walked into the room and told me I had a condition calledmyelodysplastic syndrome…it’s cancer. He went on to tell me the treatment options, some facts about MDS, and a lot more information, but the rest of the conversation is a blur.

We went to leave the hospital and head home when my phone beeped. I don’t remember if we had even told anyone at this point. But the text that was showing on my screen read,

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee. Be not dismayed; for I AM THY GOD. I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee.”

That was just the first of many messages I received over the next few days and weeks. People I had not heard from in years contacted me to lend their emotional support. Then it hit the next level. People I’d never met before would walk up to me in the parking lot and tell me they’d been praying for me. People started sending meals for when the day had been too long to feel like cooking. In short, I was reminded time and again that I am not in this alone. I, my wife, my family, and my friends have all been pulled closer through this. And I’ve made quite a new friends along the way.

At Relay, we have a celebration of big and small victories. We thank our caregivers. And we remember those who we have lost. But, most importantly to me, we survivors get to be reminded in a monumental way that even though we are in the fight of our life, we are not in this alone.

  • Join me in the fight against cancer – Relay for Life 2018
    by dsimpson on November 6, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    If you know me, you know that beyond my faith and family, there are two causes close to my heart: amateur radio and cancer research and prevention. Now, it is time for the latter to once again move to the forefront of my efforts as fundraising for the 2018 Relay For Life of Baldwin County ... Read moreJoin me in the fight against cancer – Relay for Life 2018 […]

  • Oh, what a weekend…
    by dsimpson on April 25, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    To say that this past weekend was involved would be an understatement. Really, it was the entire week. It started, for me at least, on Tuesday with the Relay for Life Survivor Dinner. Wednesday, I started the Survive and Thrive program at Georgia College. Then on Friday, things really got crazy. The day started with ... Read moreOh, what a weekend […]

  • Relay for Life – End Results
    by dsimpson on May 23, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    Well, this post is way overdue, but I guess late is better than never. Relay for Life of Baldwin County was a great success. We raised money, laughed, and cried. We remembered the ones lost, and cheered the ones still fighting. And, in the understatement of the year, memories were made. Both Nikki and I ... Read moreRelay for Life – End Results […]

  • Remarks for Baldwin County Relay for Life
    by dsimpson on April 8, 2016 at 7:15 pm

    Tonight, as honorary chair of the Baldwin County Relay for Life, one of the things I have to do is give a speech. I imagine I’ll end up going off script (this is scheduled to post right around the time I deliver it), but here is what I have prepared. One humid afternoon in 2009, ... Read moreRemarks for Baldwin County Relay for Lif […]