May 16, 2009

The Celebration - in pictures

The celebration was held at Embarcadero Marina Park, near Seaport Village. It's a beautiful spot, surrounded by water. I was really surprised by the sheer number of people that were involved with this day. The huge amount of kids that are currently battling cancer, those that have earned "survivorship" status (which I learned is generally two years after treatment), and those children whose parents walked in their memory.

The day started off with a memorial lap for parents and families that had a child that lost their cancer battle. Most of the families carried pictures, or had shirts, with their child's picture. At the end of the lap, the families released a white balloon symbolizing their child's release from this horrible disease. It was just as emotional as you can imagine it would be. There were many, many more balloons than are pictured here.

Elmo came too. Luckily he didn't have to run the relay with us.

We met up with friends whose son, Cade, also had Neuroblastoma.

Our sponsors were Jean and Al Breitenbach. I'm sad that I didn't get a good picture of them, because their generosity really means so much to me.

We are getting ready to take our turn in the relay.

I didn't get any pictures of the actual relay itself. Madeleine walked the whole thing holding my hand, and Ryan's hand, with our sponsors and our celebrity, local sportscaster Jim Stone and his wife. Jim Stone was the emcee for the entire event, which made it even cooler that he was our celebrity. Madeleine was pretty overwhelmed by the entire thing, and I was really taken aback by how I felt. It really felt supportive, and felt like we really were celebrating life, and celebrating our daughter's amazing journey, strength and spirit. People stood on the sidelines and clapped and cheered for her, and it was just a great moment.

After receiving her olympic-sized medal, we visited with cookie monster.

And Winnie the Pooh. She was enamoured of his giant tummy, and spent a lot of time poking at it.

It was a great day, and beautiful celebration.


Bree said...

Wow. It looks like an amazing day. I'm sure it was nice to feel so loved and supported. The picture of the white balloons made me cry.

Hope said...

It looks like a great time. Cancer families are such great support to each other.

Sarah said...

It was great to celebrate with you!! We love you Mad!

jocelyn said...

Wow - it looks like a beautiful experience. The white balloons made me teary as well. I'm so happy you were able to feel loved and supported and celebratory.

Anonymous said...

It looks wonderful. Wish we could have been there. Did you see yourselves on TV that night? Grandma

AprylHazle said...

That is so amazing! She looks like she had a great time.

Karen said...

I can only imagine how emotional is must have been to be there- I was tearing up just reading this! Sounds like an awesome event ... now if only Elmo had attended instead of cookie monster lol.

Ericka said...

wonderful. I'm so glad you were able to participate and that MG could walk the relay on her own two feet.

Susan Dana said...

What a wonderful, emotional event. I'm so glad you, Ryan and Madeleine had an opportunity to celebrate how far you've come.