Imagine. Believe. Dream.

Relay for Life is a staple of Preston High School. It’s an event that happens every other year and an event the students live for. This year, there was a bit of a fight to bring it back. The dear Sami P. was trying to find people to write letters about what Relay meant to them. This letter just begins to explain what Relay truly means to me.

To Whom It May Concern:
It has come to my attention that there has been some question about whether Relay for Life will be held this year at Preston High School.
I can’t truly imagine Preston High School without Relay for Life. IMAGINE – one theme from a previous relay for life held at PHS. Imagine was not only a word used to promote the event, but it was also a symbol. The word imagine stood for so many things. We need to imagine what it would be like to have a family member with cancer. We need to imagine the difference we can make as a school. We need to imagine the change that could happen. We need to imagine what a world without cancer would be like. Without relay for life at Preston, we have one less opportunity to be the change, to be the difference and truly IMAGINE a world that could be cancer free.
I remember sitting in my first Relay for Life assembly in grade nine. I remember seeing the number of people who stood up when asked if they had a family member with cancer. At that time, I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that would feel like. I couldn’t imagine being in their place. Little did I know, less than two years later, I would know exactly what all of those people standing would feel like. In the fall of grade 11, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. You’d think that you could imagine what this would be like. You truly can’t until you have walked those steps along with someone who has had cancer. I was SO fortunate to be able to walk the survivor lap with my mom the following spring. To see my mom in a yellow survivors shirt mean everything. For now, she is cancer free. No one could ever know for how long. One thing I do know, is that one of the reasons my mom is still here, is due to all the research that the Canadian Cancer Society does each year. Some of the things they know now, that might have helped to save my mom, could be because of the substantial donations our school as made. We were the leading high school for money raised at a Relay for Life event. We have risen over hundreds of thousands of dollars. By not holding Relay for Life this year, that’s another one hundred thousand plus more dollars that the Canadian Cancer Society won’t be receiving. Believe me, we don’t want to play the “what if” game with this one. We don’t want to be guessing what that money could have done. Instead, let us IMAGINE and BELIEVE what this money could do.
IMAGINE and BELIEVE: the two themes of the Relay for Life events that I have participated in. The names: fitting. The support: HUGE. The donations: astounding. The school spirit: unmatched. The difference made in so many lives: priceless. Cliché, I know, but more true than many of us could ever imagine. I am unaware of all the reasons to why Relay for Life is being questioned at Preston. But I do know that all these can be overcome with determination, perseverance, togetherness and something that cannot be matched, PHS school spirit. Nothing and no one can match it. Let’s come together for something that is not going to change without us. We need to be the change. We need to live the change. Preston needs Relay for Life in 2010.

Sincerely,

Elisabeth Steckle (Class of ’09)

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