The names of those who have lost, those who have survived and those continuing to fight are on the hearts and minds of every single person who walks during the American Cancer Society Relay For Life.
But I think that there are far too many of us walkers that wouldn't be there at all if it weren't for the heart and drive of the Team Captain.
Each team has a captain. A leader. A guide. Someone who feels the importance of this event with every fiber of their being. Someone who won't - and can't - let this opportunity pass without giving it everything they've got.
They gather people for their team. They attend every meeting. Pass out information. Cheerlead, encourage, and promote like no other.
Our Team Captain for the Walworth County Cloggers is Heidi Schulz.
Heidi, in a most understated, quiet way, is nothing short of amazing. She is a single mom of one of the cutest, sweetest, most respectful kids I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. She's the clogging mom that quietly volunteers for pretty much everything yet never seeks recognition. She's dependable. She takes on way too much and never complains when she's up until the wee hours of the morning finishing something. She takes a lot of pride in what she does. She always wants us, as a clogging team, to put our best foot forward, and she quietly sees that it's done.
Heidi also has cancer.
So, why does a woman during the year she has undergone surgery, chemo and now radiation for breast cancer stay on as the Team Captain?
I asked her. And this is Heidi's answer, in her own words:
"It’s not too often that I go back on my promises, no matter how many things I may have going on in my life...but Cancer??? I wasn’t expecting that one to be added to my stress list for 2011.
Single mom, full-time job, running my own business besides my full-time job, the first summer of Katelyn not having her dad around and juggling that schedule on my own, among all the other regular ups and downs of everyday life, well, throw some cancer in there, too.
I guess I took it on for a selfish reason, to prove to myself that I still could handle everything that I might have handled before this dreaded cancer so terribly changed my life.
I can’t lie, I’ve had LOTS of help with Relay this year, but I will stress up until the minute it begins to make sure everything gets done just right...that’s just me!
And why Relay For Life? To be honest, throughout this Cancer journey I can say that the American Cancer Society was the only national organization that offered me any real assistance, so my loyalty will remain with them and doing what little I can to give back.
Seriously though, I wanted my daughter to be proud of me. She’s seen me fight; she’s witnessed the sadness of losing a parent and watching the other fight cancer all in one year.
She hates cancer, too, now, and I just wanted to have something we could do together to fight back and try to have some smiles and hope for those better days to come...without cancer.
Katelyn is so excited for Relay it makes me smile just to think about it!!!"
Tomorrow, we will walk.
We will walk for all the daughters whose Mom's have cancer. We will walk for all the fears and bad dreams and throats with lumps and tummy's that hurt and anger and rage and sobs into a Mother's loving arms.
Tomorrow, Katelyn, we will walk with you.
To donate, please use the donate button on the right side of this blog post.
All proceeds will go to the Walworth County Cloggers' 2011 Relay For Life Team to benefit the American Cancer Society.