Isle of Wight Relay For Life continues the battle against cancer
Published 6:34 pm Thursday, June 29, 2023
By James Robinson
Saturday, May 20, was a time to celebrate strength and resilience while honoring lost loved ones at the Isle of Wight Relay For Life, the first since the onset of the pandemic.
Held at the Luter Sports Complex in Smithfield, Suffolk residents joined those from Isle of Wight County and the town of Windsor for their first Relay since 2019.
Pam Jordan, 2023 Relay For Life for Isle of Wight co-chair, said it felt good to be back.
“We were excited to be back on the field gathered at the track in fellowship with people who have been through the same things as ourselves,” Jordan said. “We’ve had the cancer diagnosis. We have sat with loved ones who have had a cancer diagnosis and we’ve lost those we have loved due to cancer. So we all have that in common when we gather at the track.”
Jordan said she was inspired to join the Relay in 1994 by its original chair, Lois Little.
“My daughter first joined the team in ‘94 through our church and then the following year, I started a team at my place of employment, Riverside Convalescent Center in Smithfield,” Jordan said.
After “several years down the road” after having a team for five or six years, Jordan took over as chair of the Isle of Wight Relay.
“Just like most people, my family has been impacted by several cancer diagnoses, several of our loved ones – my grandmother, my grandfather, mother, my father, several of my aunts and uncles, my cousins and just quite a few of my family members on both sides of my family,” Jordan said.
Along with 17 teams and 67 participants at the relay, more than $60,000 was raised, meeting their overall goal of the relay. Citizens interested in providing support can still make a donation.
“Our fiscal year does not end until about the end of July. So donations are still being accepted for this year and then after that, the opportunity for 2023 donations will close,” Jordan said. “But 2024 will open back up in about a week after that.”
She provided words of hope to individuals and families who are suffering through impacts of cancer.
“The American Cancer Society has programs that can help you understand what the cancer patient is going through, can give you more information about that diagnosis,” Jordan said. “The American Cancer Society has a hope lodge where people can stay overnight while their family members are receiving treatments. There’s also programs Road to Recoveries.”
She explained the funds raised from the Relay events go into these programs.
“Reach out to someone who has gone through the things you are going through so that you can talk with them and be encouraged by their journey, and hopefully it will just give you hope as your loved one or you are going through that battle,” she said.
For more information, go to facebook.com/RFLofWesternTidewater
For any cancer-related questions, call the American Cancer Society toll-free at 1-800-227-2345.