On April 29th, I volunteered for my 5th Relay for Life event that was held at Conestee Park in Greenville, SC. My main responsibility has been logistics for the event, from set-up to breakdown and everything that goes along with it. It is a lot of work, but it is rewarding work.

This year we introduced something new that I felt the event needed to recognize our Caregivers, the unsung heroes in the fight against cancer after I attended a conference last October and there was a lot of talk about caregiver’s and what we could do at our events to appreciate them more. I shared with the daughter of the recipient my plan and if she would like to make the presentation. With tears in her eyes, she agreed, which is good because I am not one to get in front of large crowds. As we got closer to the event, I received a text that she was not going to be able to keep it together and get through the presentation. There was only one thing I could do at that point, and that was to take her place on stage.

With the mic in my hand, and my speech in my back pocket, I spoke from the heart and I presented the first ever Caregiver of the Year award to Linda Schinck, who just lost her husband Charlie earlier this year. You may remember me asking for prayers for Charlie during some tough times. Charlie’s fight lasted 18 years and during that time, Charlie, along with his wife Linda, and daughter Andrea, were very active in RFL. When I initially thought about the caregiver award, Linda immediately came to mind. It was only fitting for the first award to go to her. I found a quote that I felt fit the award and its meaning perfectly and asked to have it inscribed at the bottom of the award. It simply said this, “One person caring about another represents life’s greatest value.”

 

-Chris B

Chris Balodis - Relay for Life