Stay up all night, haven’t done that in a long time. But I pretty much did on Saturday night. It all started last week when my Mountain Pointe High School junior said, “Mom, we need one more chaperone or we can’t stay all night at the Relay for Life.” Exactly how am I supposed to say no to that? My husband was already an over-night chaperone, so I joined the fun. “What do I have to do?” I asked. “Just come and sleep in the tent and be there by 10 p.m. on Saturday night.”

My first thought was, “Oh what a beautiful time of year to stay outside all night. I might not even want the tent.” Then I needed to look into Relay for Life and see what it really was all about. I had heard of the event, but honestly, I really didn’t know what it was all about. I did know that I support The American Cancer Society and found out that The Ahwatukee Relay for Life is the third largest of its kind in the U.S.

I had plans all day Saturday already, so being able to show up at 10 p.m. worked out for my plans. My husband had spent the week searching for our tent that we haven’t used in probably 10 years, getting sleeping bags ready, etc. Then I checked the weather. Now, I love it when it rains here, I love the storms, the light sprinkles, and occasionally throw in a real monsoon and I’m a happy camper. But the weather was showing a cold front coming in and some rain along with it.

Then at the chaperone meeting they mentioned that the event will go on, rain or shine — just like the cancer survivors do. In fact, cancer survivors suffer through a lot more than just some rain, wind, staying up all night. No biggie!

When I got there I had just missed the “Luminaria Ceremony,” but my husband really enjoyed it. There were still many people in clusters around some of the luminaries remembering those they’ve lost with cancer and those that are fighting the good fight.

It touched me, it made me remember that my own father had passed from cancer in 1996, although unfortunately we were not very close. His passing reminded me of how much my half-sister gave up caring for him and being there for him.

Relay for Life is all about helping to raise funds to fight cancer of all kinds. There were 1,100 kids and adults who put up E-Z UP shades, tables with fundraisers, snacks, sleeping bags, blankets and spent the day and night on the lawn of Desert Vista’s football field.

The kids walked and ran around the track. They sometimes slept or slept while walking, we weren’t sure. But the kids stuck through it and went around and around. They laughed the hardest that they had in a long time. All in all, for the kids they had a great time and they raised a lot of money.

I’m reminded that cancer runs in my family and that it doesn’t discriminate on old or young. If you are fighting the fight — keep going. Lots and lots of people in Ahwatukee and around the world are fighting for you!

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7926 or

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