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.