No Matter the Obstacle Thrown in Our Faces, Cancer Advocates Will Always Succeed

I like to think that cancer advocates live the motto of the postal service, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from their swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

The postal service has a motto, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from their swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

I witness this dedication every year when it comes to the organizers, advocates, volunteers, and participants of the fundraising and awareness events for cancer. We are willing to endure most hardships, regardless of environment or obstacle, to fulfill our desire to help others.

Events usually have chosen a date and location up to a year in advance. Venues are often outside so the date is chosen with an expectation of a day that would normally have good weather. There are no guarantees that the weather is going to cooperate. One year it might exceed 100 degrees. Another year below freezing. We might have that perfect spring day. Not too hot, not too cold, a pristine blue sky with an occasional cloud.

Or we can have what we experienced this year. For at least five days before our event, there were regular showers. The day before the event there were random soaking downpours. All the plans are set, the venue is reserved, supplies ready to go, there is no turning back. The morning of the walk, the weather is reported to be mild, cool, gray, and an occasional shower. The reserved area was a field of mud except for a sloped area a few feet from the paved walking path. We unloaded the vehicles, set up tables and pop up covers at the most level location close to the path. This still left an area of mud to reach the registration and sponsor tables. We did have one advantage as the walk path we mapped out is both paved and wide.

As the scheduled registration time opened, people started to arrive. Regardless of discomfort, these dedicated people will not let this dissuade their opportunity to participate. Registrations were completed and T-shirts, snacks, drinks and swag were all distributed. The opening ceremonies began as a light rain started. Keeping this short and to the point was the plan for the day. The crowd was welcoming, and we did have a few interesting guests. Our honoree spoke of his journey of discovering and being treated for melanoma and how he now advocates. A special guest was Nadia Popovici, a pre-med student that got the attention of a hockey player at a game to warn him to have a spot on his neck examined, possibly saving his life. We also had a few people from a local nonprofit cosplay group, Portland Ghostbusters, that promote the event on their Facebook page and come to events to cheer on and support the participants.

Every year we will try to choose the most optimal date and location, knowing, as I said earlier, there are no guarantees. But because of the dedication of the volunteers, participants, sponsors, and organizers, we know that it will still be a success. Just as the dedication of doctors, researchers, and patients that receive our support, we will also succeed regardless of whatever obstacles they face.

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