By Marty Mayfield
The 5:00 pm start approached as the sky darkened and let loose the rain dropping about a half an inch on the Relay for Life event at Tiger Stadium Friday evening.
After about an hour delay the Young Marines posted the colors and the festivities began with cancer survivor Reverend Adrianne Coleman as she cited some stats on the number of people surviving cancer as of January 1, 2015 14.5 million people were alive. Some are recently diagnosed and others are long-term survivors. She went on to say they expect 1.6 million new cases this year.
She went on to tell the crowd that she had survived an invasive breast cancer and just recently been diagnosed with colon cancer. She added all of the complications she now suffers from after the chemotherapy and wonders how you can be called a survivor. Cancer is a word its not a sentence. Cancer can do a lot of things to us but it there is a host of things it can’t do to us. “It cannot cripple love, it cannot shatter hope, it cannot corrode faith, it can’t eat away at our peace, it can’t destroy our confidence,” she said. Her encouragement about feeling guilty and relief she said is only human and that we should allow our family and friends and caregivers the right to feel the feelings of discouragement and unhappiness.
She went to say that its important to set goals for yourself as she did by being in the pulpit every Sunday and she also got involved in the theater. She added that Victor Franko, a holocaust survivor wrote “forces beyond your control can take away everything except one thing, your freedom to choose.” She went on to say “I choose Hope.” That is the secret to being a survivor, hope.
Noby Gomez spoke about caregivers and while he himself hasn’t really been a direct caregiver he has been very supportive of the people he knows has been stricken with the disease. In his support he started a list beginning with his mom who passed away with leukemia. He added all those he has been close to and he noted he ran out of space on the poster board. He encouraged the crowd to celebrate the life of those who are still here and for those who have passed.
Louise Bauler, as an 8th grader, had a crush on a senior boy. She did what she could to get noticed but admits what senior boy would have anything to do with an 8th grader. She went on to say she eventually worked with this young man’s mother while he was in the Marine Corp. As fate would have it she received a letter from this young man during her senior year. One day Nathan called and she hung up on him not knowing who he was. He called back and said he was in Almagordo to see her where Louise was living and working at the hospital, as she put it the rest is history all 42 years and two boys later.
Nathan was diagnosed with prostate cancer, together they fought it and won. At age 66 Nathan was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma of the lungs. She went on to talk about his little yah yahs. It was their little thing to help cope. Unfortunately Nathan didn’t make it but Louise wanted to pass on there is hope in everyday. There is hope in just getting up in the morning, there is hope to dance to the oldies in the kitchen like we used to do. Hope to play golf on the computer again and again.
After seven years Louise is just now realizing what has happened, that her 8th grade crush was no longer here. She added read all you can about the diagnosis of the disease, educate yourself with what ever you can get your hands on. Take care of yourself if you’re a caregiver, accept help and counseling so you can deal with situation. She added that she didn’t do that and that is why she felt she is just now realizing and feeling the loss of her 8th grade crush.
The festivities continued with dancing and the survivor lap. A lap the survivors take to honor their journey and survival from a disease that can be devastating. As Adrianne Coleman put it she chose to deal with the disease and not let it manage her.
The event continued throughout the night ending Saturday morning around 10:00 a.m.
2015 RELAY FOR LIFE COMMITTEE
Event Co-Chairs Jami Esquibel, Mercy Swanson
Banker Colette Armijo
Entertainment Amelia Vigil, Nancy Valdez
Food/Hospitality Jami Esquibel
Luminaria Diana Alderette
Mission Freda Baca
Online Jami, Mercy – Facebook, Liz
Public Relations Colette, Jami, Mercy
Sponsorship Teresa Ebell
Survivorship Judy Phelps, Teresa Ebell
Team Development Liz Tafoya
Youth Developement Vanna Tapia
ACS Staff Manuel Luna
2015 RELAY FOR LIFE TEAMS
Brenda Perry & Friends Brenda Perry
Colfax County Young Marines Briana Pais, Christina Avila Marchet
Ebell & Co Teresa Ebell, Stella Devers
Esperanza “Don’t Mope There’s Hope” Amelia Vigil, Remy Garcia
Firecrackers Colette Armijo, Ira Simpson
Friends of Mercy Mercy Swanson
Holy Walkamolies Stacey & Betty Poe
International Walkers Caroline Gum, Lieann Bernal
Pink Layers Angelina Romero, Elma Sanchez
Purple Ladies Committee
Rosalie & Andy’s Army Noby Gomez
Springer Team Diana Alderette, Judy Phelps
Walk to Remember Liz Tafoya, Candise Maria
Walking for Loralai Julian Gutierrez
Wells Fargo Hope Neurauter, Vanna Tapia