So I’m sure everyone knows what the Relay For Life is, but incase you are unaware, (idk what rock you’re living under) Relay For Life is an event usually held at schools, where people donate money that all goes towards the American Cancer Society. You walk around a “track” till dawn (hence the relay part). That was a vague explanation but research it some more if you do not know much about it.
Anyways, I have done the relay in the past (in high school) and had no real problems with it, but this year was different. Currently I am actually still at the relay as I am writing this and it is almost 4 AM (omg so tired). So like I said, we walk around a track a good amount of times and for me this is a huge problem. I feel as though this night has been the most painful night for me since the school year started.
You probably don’t know exactly what I am talking about with the pain so I’ll explain it. Starting in about 10th grade I started having really bad back pain. We believe this pain is caused by my arched back. Some bones in my spine rub against each other, because of the arch, causing a lot of pain for me. The reason for my extremely arched back is probably because I did gymnastics from age 3 until age 12 (9 years!). If you don’t know this already, gymnasts usually have arched backs because of the crazy stretches and moves we do. The thing that grosses me out most about my gymnast days is that fact that I could get into a back bend (hands and feet on floor with my stomach facing the ceiling, if that makes sense) and in this position I would move my hands all the way so that they would be touching my feet (just picture that for a second….literally sounds like my back would break in half). So as I was saying, I have extreme back pain. To give you a better idea, when I go to the doctors and they ask if the pain is 1-10, 10 being excruciating and 1 being almost fine, I am usually at an 8 or 9, but tonight I was at a 10 at some points. When I say usually, I mean every single day, almost all day, unless I’m sleeping.
So back to Relay. My back started hurting only 10 minutes into the night and I was already scared for what the rest of the night had in store for me. I knew this would be a problem for me when I signed up for relay but everyone in my sorority signed up and there was no way I was going to make up some excuse to get out of it and have people think I don’t care about cancer research. This is an important night for a lot of people and I really didn’t want my back pain to get in the way of a good cause. So for relay I also had to help with another non profit organization and with this org. I had to stand for at least 2 hours wrapping wood (it was not fun but it was super painful). I tried my hardest not to complain because I knew I was wrapping for a good cause and I didn’t want to stop. After the wrapping we had to do the luminary walk. This was probably the most painful part of the night but as I was walking around the building I saw many people crying because they had lost loved ones to cancer. This brought many tears to my eyes as I was thinking about that but also thinking about the fact that I have this disability and I hate it and it sucks, but there were cancer survivors in the room! There were people in the room who had lost loved ones to cancer and I was still alive and well. This was one of those moments that
made me feel lucky but also realize that we all have hard times we go through, whether it’s: battling cancer or watching someone battle cancer.