Harness your holiday spirit and pledge to help cancer patients

Amy Brediger's father, Bill Hackenberg, is still fighting his battle and spending time with his grandkids.

Today I write as a caregiver and daughter of a cancer patient, as well as the event chair of Westlake Relay for Life. I am writing for everyone who is touched by cancer and will be going through the holidays happy, scared and sometimes sad, praying for hope and time. 

As the holidays approach I think of all the amazing people I have met while working on the Relay and all the people that I will meet next year. I am hoping that the American Cancer Society is able to help more patients and their families in 2013. A significant way for this to happen is to support the Relay and take time out of our busy schedules to give time to help.

The upcoming Relay will be at the Westlake Recreation Center again on July 13-14. Our theme is “Game Shows” and we are looking forward to having a fun-filled day of mock game shows and hilarious laughs. 

We are in need of many volunteers to help us make this happen so if you are able to give your time we would truly appreciate it. Our next meeting will be Dec. 13 at the Rec Center in the second-floor classroom. Please come and join a committee or even chair a committee and be a part of the big picture of a cure. Starting a team is a great way to raise money and come up with a fun game show to share with the Relayers. The ideas are first-come, first-get when you sign up.  We already have four teams and four games shows taken. Don’t miss out on your favorite show by waiting to sign up. 

I am also reaching out to Bay Village since your Relay will not happen again this year. Please come join us and bring all your friends and family to this wonderful event. You won’t regret it.

Mayor Dennis Clough will be there to start the Relay and many other remarkable people are giving their time to make this a great event. We are still looking for a survivor to speak and a caregiver to share their story. If you know of someone that might be willing to share, please encourage him or her to come to the meeting or contact me.

I know over this holiday season I will be doing my best to ask people to help by donating to our team instead of gifts. This is a great way to get the ball rolling and start meeting our 2013 goal. 

Cancer is terrible and I want to do all that I can to help my dad, my mother-in-law and all the other people close to me to get more birthdays and more time. My dad is 10 months out from his diagnosis and we are working everyday to make him stronger and earn more time that he truly deserves – the time every individual who is diagnosed deserves.

My emotions run high this holiday season since it is my first while dealing with cancer so closely. My greatest gift would be to help the next person…the next person who hears the devastating news that cancer has invaded their lives. So please join me to make dreams come true and even feel a little better yourself by helping. 

Come on, join the fun and start a team, donate, sponsor or just come to the Relay and show your support. I thank all of you that are helping from the bottom of my heart. It means so much to me to be able to share my story and help others.

And lastly, on my always personal note, please give blood. My dad received his second transfusion this month and there is a blood shortage. So next time you drive by that blood drive, stop in and help so many people get the blood they need. It only takes a bit to save a life.

Contact me at 440-666-0662 for more info and keep an eye out for much shorter articles in the future. 

May your holidays be happy and healthy.

Amy Brediger

I am a wife, mother of 2, and a caregiver for an amazing dad fighting cancer.  

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Volume 4, Issue 25, Posted 10:42 AM, 12.11.2012