Cancer. In one way or another, at one time or another, we can, have, are or will be touched by its gruesome hand. It’s an indiscriminate killer. Slaying the good, the bad, the young and old alike — with brutal coldness.
Every year, it lays waste to friends and family across the community, the country and the world we live in. The ruthlessness seems to be insatiable as loved ones are ripped from us, many before they’ve truly had the experience to live their lives at all.
But in the face of despair, there is always hope. It’s often hidden, buried even underneath layers of pain and anguish, longing and doubt, but it’s there.
This weekend, for 24 hours, the North Kitsap Relay for Life takes its first steps at Kingston Junior High School. The annual event does much more than raise money to combat and awareness about this killer who walks boldly among us, but offers something we all could use a little more of in this technological monster of a society we’ve created — hope.
Whether cancer has taken everything you’ve ever held dear or stayed its blade from your life so far, we all can learn from those who have the strength to survive its cuts and push onward. We can learn from their families and friends, who other than offering support and raising funds and spread awareness, are practically bound when it comes to taking out this menace. There is always hope, they know.
And whether one chooses to give thanks to their higher power, their support network, or their personal grit, without hope nothing is possible in this uphill battle. Even so, it needs allies willing to take action, and that is where the Relay comes in.
Those who are attending for the first year might mistake it for a party. While it is certainly a celebration of life, the Relay hides a warrior’s spirit amongst its walkers.
A spirit that says we know our foe, but we will remain hopeful and active until it is no longer a threat to our friends and families. A threat to our way of life. A threat at all.