Tuesday, June 14, 2005
We ended up going around 5:30pm on Friday night and staying until about 9:30pm. During that time Abby did her survivor lap with all the people who had or have had cancer. She walked the whole 1/4 mile and only said she was tired at the very end. Abby was interviewed by the radio station that was there after her lap and she did really good with her high pitched little voice. Around 7pm they had dinner for the survivors, it was spaghetti and I once again, Abby ate a ton of it! That was a big deal too because she hadn't been eating for the last 2 days and I was starting to get a little concerned.
We ended up meeting a ton of people a the event and Abby had this weird connection to the other cancer patients/survivors. She would just walk up to almost anyone in a purple shirt and give them a hug or talk to them. The coordinator of the Fort Collins event Dianne got Abby a little bear, a necklace that lights up, and fell in love with Abby. Dianne walked a lap around the track carrying Abby the whole way! We also ran into a girl who is done with Leukemia treatment, Nikki, that we had first met at Dr. Smith's office in Denver. We talked a lot and I got to meet a bunch of team members that she was on a team with, team Drahota, a construction company team. Abby loved all of these people too and loved playing this little game that they had made to get people to help donate money to the American Cancer Society involving spinning a wheel and then winning a seed packet. If you got 3 of the same seed packets you also won a prize. Abby didn't quite understand the concept and would just go over to the wheel, spin it, and then go get a seed packet... by the end of my talk with Nikki, Abby had a pile of seed packets as tall as her!... Ok, you got me, not 3 feet high from the ground... she was piling them on a chair, but still they were as tall as her when pile up on the chair, and it sounds better when you say a seed pile as tall has her! Anyway...
We finally went home after they lit the luminaries, Abby had 2 in honor of her, Abby lit her own with all of our new friends watching and helping her break the glow sticks. Pretty crazy to see all of those lit up bags all around the 1/4 mile track, all spaced apart by no more than a foot. Some bags in memory, some bags in honor, and some as a sign of hope.
We signed up with team Drahota to walk a lap since they were short 1 person, she had lost the fight to cancer 2 weeks ago. We took her place from the 5am-6am lap and clocked 1.75 miles with Abby in the stroller all wrapped up in a big blanket. That was the bubble blowing lap and we had a great time! They do different things like lap poker, and bubbles through out the night to help the time go by. I took Abby for a long drive to help her sleep until breakfast and then she came back... again, and ate about 6 pancakes! Man that girl can eat!
Well, that was a night all right, a fun filled emotional, and hopeful night. Filled with meeting new friends, connecting with people on a way deeper than usual level and giving and receiving a lot of love. Pretty weird to see someone in a purple shirt, strike up a conversation, hear their story and relate to them in a way that others can't. They know the pain, the angst, the good and the bad days of treatment. They know of hope and they really know how to suck the marrow out of every day. Want to have a good party?... go hang out with cancer survivors and their friends for a night and you'll get to see who knows how to live life in a real, deep, and fun way!
Next year... we'll do a team... who's with me!?