For more than 10 years, these legacy Relay For Life of Windward Oahu teams have been “Relaying” for friends, family, and even themselves.
The American Cancer Society Relay For Life movement is the world’s largest fundraising event to fight every cancer in every community. Relay For Life events raise critical funds that help fuel the mission of the American Cancer Society, an organization that’s reach touches the lives of so many – those who are currently battling cancer, those who may face a diagnosis in the future, and those who may avoid a diagnosis altogether thanks to education, prevention, and early detection.
Our last featured legacy team is Honuboi 1-2-3, three teams of one family honoring Jacob Michael Almanza.
In the fall of 2002 our youngest son, at the age of 19 and just starting his adult life, was diagnosed with a brain tumor that needed immediate treatment – surgery and radiation. As with many cancer patients and their families the first few months were a frantic maze through the medical systems required to gain some stable ground. As we came out of that first year and into recovery, we were invited to join the Kailua Relay For Life. It gave us a sense of purpose and support as we moved forward. In 2004, Jacob’s tumor returned and then metastasized to his bone in 2005, just around the time of the July Relay. But he was there, inspiring the rest of us to continue our fight. He passed that year but we are not finished. We have continued to participate in honor of him but over the years have had cancer take many more from us, so – we are still there.
One of the reasons we are so determined in our efforts is that shortly after Jacob passed we found out that approved research for his type of cancer was waiting for funding and that did not sit right with us. No matter where the research takes place it can affect anyone of us at any time, today-tomorrow-or even the next generation. Groundbreaking research is one of the things that ACS does best. We Relay so that Jacob’s nieces and nephews will never have to hear the words, “You have cancer”.
All of these legacy teams exemplify the values of the American Cancer Society – courage, determination, innovation, passion, empathy and caring, and remain committed to the vision of the American Cancer Society to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer.
We invite all of our Windward residents to join us at this year’s Relay For Life of Windward Oahu on July 9, 2016, 2:00p.m. to 10:00p.m., at Kailua High School.