My March 8th, 2015 Relay Moment

My very first Relay Moment was on Saturday March 12, 2011 at the kick off ceremony at this BOSL Stadium. I had just found Relay and had the good fortune to joined Harmony of Hope, as deer in the headlights volunteers, I mean completely oblivious to what I got into.

2011 RFL kickoff Celebrations1Well it didn’t take long for me to leap into the unknown, again, I mean within minutes of the first team meeting, when I ask how Harmony of Hope promote themselves on Social Media? Random who was the team captain, basically said they didn’t, but sounds like you will be our social media promoters and promptly volunteered me to the role, and I dove into it.

Next thing I know, I am now on the committee under Poppy Zabelin, in the co-chair of PR role and working with MamaP Beerbaum, Nikki Matherson, Dwen Dooley, Trader Whiplash and so many others wonderful people that first year.

I do remember how I felt, and what I first believed, about Relay For Life of Second Life’s potential could be, with the right pieces. I shared some of my insights and feelings in the end of season report Poppy and I wrote, that fall. I still have it. In it are suggestions to work with the ACS to get information on cancer progress and mission. Build of our Social Media presences, coordinate with all radio, streaming channels partners, photographers, machinimas creators and all news organizations all over Second Life. And that we need to push into the part of the grid that never heard of Relay For Life of Second Life and since For Life of Second Life is worldwide, we should focus on that too.

Since my time that first year, all my friends and mentor have matured on to other roles, on to other challenges, still spreading Relay, influencing new people, new teams, new ideas, as well all have because that is the nature of Second Life with server and view improvements. We embrace change. We fight through bugs, lag and keep coming. We are that unstoppable tide.

But today’s kick off was something special for me. One might say it a new entry on my Relay moments list. I was brought back full circle, just as one would lap a Relay track, back to that first Relay moment. Again I was moved by a similar euphoria from the crowd around me, over the words I was hearing. As cast an eye on the work everyone has done leading up for this seasons and the growth in promotions across so many media channels, Nikki recording the ceremony in video, Ishatar recording voice, media people and promotions everywhere, I just had to shared my silent giggle.

I truly believe, 2015 is going to be another record setting year, one that will make 2014 look like a warm up for the champion fight. The very heart of what I think that makes Relay For Life of Second Life, so flipping amazing, is that Second Life is essentially a social media network, on steroids. WE the users, are beautiful fanatical and passionate people, that chose to live in a world with no borders and able to create the unimaginable. How could we not succeed?

I would guess 3/4 or more, of the worldwide Second Life grid, still does not know about Relay For Life of Second Life. And I am also guessing that if every team made a sustained effort all season long, to reach out into that unknown grid and shouted our international message, I would NOT have to guess at what those results would look like.

In 2011 and I still do today, firmly believe Relay For Life of Second Life has the potential to have a million dollar season. My tears today, besides being wept for the wonderful words of people I admire, is that we will break half million dollars, in 2015.

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Two Roads

It is funny how the universe works when you are looking for answers. Bits and pieces of unrelated experiences floating cross your landscape to the world, while you seek relevance.

Lately I have been immersed in the world of a certain type of caregiver, the one that is having to dedicate all of their time in the care of someone that needs total care, and looking at that same situation from the one in need of that care, the question of quality of life for both patient and the caregiver are rarely spoken openly and their support through this journey is so very limited, if at all. I know that healing the mind is a key component when healing the body, yet I see little in the way of support for full time caregiver whose nemesis is not enough time and the patient when the state of medical practice, is just not there for their illness.

The other day I was looking up ideas for some fundraising event coming up soon and hit on this poem that resonated with me.

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost (1874–1963)Two RoadsTWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both              
And be one traveler, long I stood            
And looked down one as far as I could  
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,        
And having perhaps the better claim,    
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;              
Though as for that the passing there      
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay          
In leaves no step had trodden black.      
Oh, I kept the first for another day!        
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:          
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When I first joined the ranks of the Relay For Life fighters, my first thought was that advocacy would be my weapon of choice. I would seek out the need and let their stories be my guide for the work we do. We are fulfilling many needs with our efforts, but we have so many others, going unfulfilled.

One third of the population of Canada and the US is provide care for a chronically ill, disabled or aged family member or friend. The typical family caregiver is a 49-year-old woman caring for her widowed 69-year-old mother who does not live with her. She is married and employed. More than 37% of caregivers have children or grandchildren under 18 years old living with them. Spend an average of 20 hours per week caring for their loved ones while 13% of family caregivers are providing 40 hours of care a week or more. They just don’t have the time to look after themselves. And when things begin to go downhill for their loved ones as they often do, suffer alone.

I’ve been the shoulder to cry on for a few friends going through cancer and the ones that opened my eye are the second timer, who’s cancer, had returned. Two of these people are people are is polar in their circumstances and their stance while being the same. One is on his third fight with an inoperable cancer and does not wish to go through thin chance chemo offers, for the probable side effects he will have to live with forever. The other is on her forth fight with cancer for which cancer has taken so much of her body. She wonders if the fight is worth it, when all that she was, is gone and is now need of total care.

In my mind’s eye, both these people need care, support and a voice. Caregivers spend vast amounts of time, money, sacrificing career, family and emotional health in the care for another. And the support available to all concerned when the odds are no longer in your favor and time is all but run out, are linked.

I am still lost in all this, but I have started down the path less traveled, to learn how to truly help and hope I can make a difference.

I do know we need to be their warrior
to both these groups of people
when time as all but gone
are left silently screaming to be heard
We need to be their voice.

 

A Journey of Promise

Relay For Life of Second Life 2014 is a few short days ways from kicking off the 2014 season of A Journey of Promise on March 8th, 2014

2014 RFL of SL Logo square 1024x1024

There have been a lot of changes since last years amazing season. First they have a new site at http://relayforlifeofsecondlife.org and a wiki pages in the works, much like the one that was set up for Relay For Life of InWolrdz last year. Thanks Jessii Warrhol for your hard work doing this for both Relays.

And thanks to Dwen Dooley he had a heap of work to do to all the technology with these changes and some how found the time to make a few cool additions like the dual team kiosk for team can team up for a fundraising event and have the donation shared without the need to place out separate kiosk. Very slick, Dwen!

Another change to the season makeup is Paint SL Purple is not a week long activity in mid season, but a month long precursor to announce to the grid we as about to kick off the 2014 season.

Other notable changes to the season schedule are the mega events. May can now be considered Mega May Month with a bit of rollover into June.

Fantasy Faire ~ May 1-11
Fiction for a Cure ~ May 16-26
The Sci-Fi Convention ~ May 30 – June 8
Fashion For Life ~ June 7-20
The Breedables Fair ~ TBA

There are a ton more changes, but you will just have to follow along to find out more. Better yet, why don’t you visit the http://relayforlifeofsecondlife.org site and click on the orange Register You Team and find out first hand the joy we have in Relay For Life!

DR. WHO PARTY Commemorates 50 Years

The Relay for Life Tri Group threw a Dr. Who party September 15 on a wonderful set created by Team Captain Banker Ibor. The party commemorates the 50th anniversary of Dr. Who.

Snapshot _ Relay for life Tri Group  PG Onl, Marina-Del Ray (61,

Banker was the DJ for the party with a great mix of theme based Dr. Who music and dance party classics.

Nancy Back is the Co Captain for the Team. Nancy relays because she lost her Dad to Cancer. Banker’s Mom recently had her breast removed from cancer and will start treatment in October. We wish her the best.

Thank you to Banker, Nancy, TomTom and RFL Tri Group for this fun and meaningful event!

Snapshot _ Relay for life Tri Group  PG Onl, Marina-Del Ray (62,