Yesterday and through this morning (!) I joined Team Aperio in participating in the National Cancer Society's Relay For Life, down in Encinitas. It was an amazing experience. These events celebrate cancer survivors and memorialize cancer victims, while raising money for cancer research and care for those battling cancer. Teams representing companies or individuals relay continuously around a quarter mile track for 24 hours. After dark the track is surrounded by luminaria, candles inside paper bags; the luminaria are each sponsored and carry messages, either congratulating cancer survivors or remembering cancer victims. Walking along the track in the middle of the night, reading these handwritten messages was incredibly moving. My favorite was one which began “Dear Grandma, I never knew you but have heard so much about you”. It was signed Britta, age 8. It really makes you realize how important our work is, and the work of our customers.
I couldn't help thinking about my father, who died twenty years ago of a brain tumor, or my friend and ex-partner Daniel Jacoby, who was similarly taken by cancer four years ago. I thought of Randy Pausch, the "last lecture" professor, whose audio book I listened to recently. I found myself blinking back tears, thinking of all the people - survivors, victims, caregivers, and family and friends - whose lives have been affected by this disease, the scourge of our time. I'm tearing up right now just typing these words, recalling how I felt, and thinking of all those affected today and tomorrow. It really brings home how important Aperio's work really is, and the work of our customers.