Wednesday, July 27, 2022

The 2022 RFL Sunbeamer Camp

By Bixyl Shuftan

For most of its history, people have held Relay for Life events in Second Life. As a chapter, the Relay for Life in Second Life, has proven one of the most successful ones, during the Pandemic becoming the one that raised the most money. Made up of over a hundred teams, there is something of a friendly competition to raise the most money. But the teams also cooperate, the "one team" principle. 

The team yours truly is part of is the Sunbeamers. Growing out of the folding of another team, the Passionate Redheads in 2013, the "Sunnies" have gone from a respectable start to being a top performing team every year. Last year, we were 13th of over 130 teams, just missing the top dozen, having raised over a million Linden dollars. 

For the Sunweaver community, who make up most of its members, the team is a source of community pride, in addition to a way to do something about cancer, which has affected a number of its residents.

The camp was at RFL Prevention, on the east side, or to the left side of the track, traffic on the Relay Weekend moving south. The Memorial Garden was on the left side, featuring noted personalities over the years who passed away from cancer. In the middle was the Hall of Heroes, this year's feature. To the right was the Hope Lodge. 

Cynthia Farshore and Shockwave Yareach did most of the world on the camp (each will tell you the other did more work).

 Cynthia would show me around some in the camp's "Hall of Heroes."

The heroes in this case were doctors, nurses, researchers, and others in the struggle to combat cancer. 

And Relayers were counted in this exhibit.

Beside the Hall and the Memorial Garden was the Tower of Prayer.

And there were a number of signs providing information, some were about American Cancer Society apps.

There was a pond, and a couple inner tubes to cool off in.

Another part of the camp was the Hope Lodge.

A Hope Lodge offers cancer patients a free place to stay if they need treatment away from home.

Sorry to say while I thought I took some pictures of the Memorial Garden, I only found one (at the end of the article). I was likely distracted as I was reminded of some sad times.

Personal commentary:

Sadly, for me it was a reminder of some friends who had passed away from cancer over the years,

And at the start of the month, so had my Mother, who passed after nine months of surgery, recovery, and relapse. 

 So last year, I joined the ranks of the many thousands who have been caregivers. While the exhibit showed them as heroes, I myself didn't feel like a hero, just someone who was taking care of one who had taken care of him when very young. 

For me, the Relay Weekend has usually been a largely happy time, celebrating with friends, while taking a few moments to reflect on Artistic Fimicloud and others whose fight with cancer came to a sad end. While this year was still mostly happy, I often thought about friends who had passed away in the previous year: my real-life next-door neighbor, Jessicabelle Dayafter, fellow Relayer Alleara Snoodle, and now my Mother. 

But I wasn't alone, I was around friends and offered much support.

So here's to our friends and family who have helped us become what we are, and to our future, which hopefully soon will have cures to all forms of this dreaded disease. Perhaps next season will raise the last few dollars that makes it so.

Go Sunbeamers, go Relay,

Bixyl Shuftan 

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