For the second year in a row, I have photographed the Relay for Life in Tacoma, Washington. One of the largest Relay's in the nation and one of the most humbling experiences of my life. It's the very first lap, as the youngest survivors stand up front holding the banner, wearing their purple survivor t-shirt, laughing, giggling, and smiling for the cameras as they get loads of deserved attention - it's that moment that I have to hold back tears. We all have that image in our heads of what a cancer patient goes through, and if you haven't experienced it first hand, you can only imagine.
We all, sadly, know someone. or many someones.
As I cull through thousands of images there is one constant, we are all there for the same reason. We all believe and hope and pray and support. You have to, because the alternative is non existent. I love going through these images of these people, these families - Relayers - so happy. They are all so very happy to be doing what they're doing. Whether they currently have cancer or are crying tears of love in memory or are simply fighting for the cause, everyone really is happy to be there. That motivates me to no end to capture those smiles and dancing as they take on another lap.
There are Relay's all over the country, if you've never been, I highly recommend you stop by sometime just to see what it's all about. Bring a friend or your family and just have fun. There are food vendors, fundraisers, and so many neat booth set ups from those who stay the whole 24 hours and camp, that you can't help but love it all! Even better, get involved somehow. You can't regret the time spent.
Anyway, I'm not sponsored or anything, but I just finished editing and wanted to share so many images here from this experience. Since that would take forever to get through, the illuminati bags honoring those who are fighting or are being remembered was a great moment for me during the night. Thousands of bags are decorated for that special someone and are lighted. Then every single person in attendance walks a lap on the track before allowing the honorary speaker a chance to share his voice.
If you are interested in seeing the images from the event, I'll be sharing some on my Facebook page.
In loving memory of my Aunt Sharon and Father-in-Law, Jerry.