Relay for Life in TinyTown has come and gone for another year, and was the first one without Mum as our "tentertainment" for the day. It was hard to see her name on the track "in memory of", but I'm once again so proud of the amount of money this little town can raise to fight cancer.

In particular, I'm exceedingly proud of the over $2,000 I raised individually, thanks to so many friends and family. My thanks to ALL of you. :-)

One of the coolest things I got to do this year was be a participant, and a tent volunteer, for our Cancer Prevention Study #3, a study being conducted at only 167 sites around the country. We signed up over 100 participants, and hopefully the data collected will help us eradicate cancer someday...

In fact, my sister and I were the subject of an article in our tri-state's major newspaper about the study (even if they did put an extra "r" in my first name!). You can read it right here:

"Sisters Who Lost Mother Sign Up for Cancer Study"

My other exciting news is that I was announced at Relay as the Co-Chair of the event event for the next two years. I'm excited (and yes, a little nervous!) about this amazing opportunity. I think Mum would be proud. :-)

Survivors take to the track...


Me working as a CPS3 volunteer...

CPS-3 Tent

Family portrait...

Family Smiles

Miss you, Mummy...

Mum's Luminarias...

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I have been unable, until now, to make this post.

And even now, it's hard beyond words to write.

The most courageous woman I have ever known died peacefully, with her family by her side, on September 3rd.

My beautiful, charming, exuberant, fighting spirit, full of laughter, bad ass cook, Project Runway-lovin', English accent talking, amazingly inspiring mother finally lost her battle to breast cancer.

Words will never express how much I miss her, the ache in my heart that will never be fixed, the tears that I shed at the smallest thought of her smile, her voice, her laughter.

In ten years, she never stopped fighting, inspiring others, or living full of joy.

I miss you, Mummy.

Candles lit in her memory...

(We have asked for donations in her memory to be made to the American Cancer Society, and I urge all women to do a self check exam, to get a mammogram, to watch for early warning signs. It may save your life...)

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June 7Well, we did it.

In typical Priddis family style, we thrashed, we ate, we laughed, we sweated, we walked, we napped, we thrashed some more, and we made it 15 hours at the track in a row without air conditioning or a shower at TinyTown's annual Relay for Life.

We had a few changes this year:

*Mum didn't walk the survivor lap, as she is still "chemo girl", so we walked for her. Proudly.

*Michelle and Don came down for the weekend, joining in the festivities (thereby, the entire family missed the colossal flooding in Columbus, the most notable of which has shut down the hospital for months. Luckily, all the houses survived).
Priddis Giggle
*We actually won a basket from the Basket Booth! (Well, Dad did. Way to go, Dad!)

*We had a rainbow of shirts to wear, we sweated right through them, but we made it all the way through the luminary ceremony without a costume change

*This year, I was asked to help read the names of the "in honor" and "in memory" luminarias, which was an amazing experience. It's completely dark but for the candles, and then the names of every survivor, and those we've lost, are read.

But most of all, we did it.

As a whole family.

Father and DaughterInitial reports place our Relay as raising $105,000 - not bad for a town of 7500 souls.

And I'm so grateful to the people who helped me raise more than $1200 of it.

You are my stars.

But really, truly, Mum, you are the biggest star.

You are a big damn chemo taking, straw hat stealing, court holding, camel mode, cancer kicking rock star.

I'm so proud to be your daughter, and so proud of your fight to kick cancer's ass.

That makes all the sweat, work, tears, pain, money and time so, so worth it.

Until next June...

Surprise Fireworks!
The candles on the opposite stands read "Cure". When I stepped out of the booth after reading all those "in memory" names of those who have lost their battle and then saw the candles and the fireworks and then that word, I burst into tears.

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