Carissa at her Beautiful Feet booth with the Reflex2s
Carissa with Danielle Ventura, a regional Relay for Life event coordinator (far right), and Alexis, a Chapman student, event coordinator, and cancer survivor (seated, far left)
Some event participants enjoying the Reflex 2 Foot and Calf massagers
Luminaries surrounding the track during the event
Human Touch was recently able to show support for the American Cancer Society at the 2016 Relay for Life event. There, we donated two HT-Reflex 2 Foot and Calf Massagers to the team Beautiful Feet, which was captained by 16 year-old Carissa Dahlia. These Reflex2’s were featured in the Beautiful Feet booth at their May 1st event, offering some much-needed relief to its participants.
Relay for Life is an event that raises money for the American Cancer Society to put toward cancer research, as well as patient resources and programs. Beautiful Feet is a chapter of Chapman University’s event, in which the goal of each team was to have someone on the track walking to raise money for cancer for a full 24 hours. Carissa Dahlia also made it her goal to walk roughly 16 miles barefoot, despite the hot cement of the sidewalk route, in tribute to the hardships that cancer patients go through every day. In 2016, she increased that goal to 26 miles.
Carissa’s story is truly inspirational, as this young woman formed her team in memory of her maternal grandfather, Terry Borchard, who lost his battle with Multiple Myeloma cancer in 2014. Borchard had been a missionary and Bible translator in Papua New Guinea for over 40 years, and led a generous lifestyle that inspired Carissa and her family to also lead similar purpose-filled lives. Carissa’s team raised approximately $900 for Relay for Life in 2015, and another $1209 (so far) in 2016.
Here are a few quotes directly from Carissa throughout her experience:
“Once again I have created a Relay for Life team called Beautiful Feet. Last year I walked 16 miles barefoot at Relay for Life. Everyone thought I was crazy. It was hot. We were walking on cement. And yet I had ditched my shoes in our tent. At the time I didn’t have a real answer for why I was walking barefoot, I just knew deep down that I needed to do it. I now have the answer to why. The pain I experienced from walking barefoot on that hot cement for 16 miles was fleeting. Of course it hurt at the time and for a week or so afterwards, but it was nothing compared to the pain experienced by those fighting cancer or any other diseases. The pain I experienced was momentary and my choice. Theirs is not.”
“Walking barefooted reminds me of the real reason that we relay. We relay for the people. The people we’ve lost, the people still fighting, and the future people who might have to hear those fateful words. Relay is not just about the cancer and funding research. It’s about the people who will benefit from that research. The people it will save.”
“26+ miles completed barefoot and I am done walking. Or rather my legs are done walking. So I am reflecting on the reason that I have done this to my legs. Because of my Grandpa, both my grandmas, and countless others, I relay for them. I relay for the hope of a cure, the hope that one day all cancers will be treatable. I relay for love, the love I have for all those I’ve lost. And finally, I relay to help kick cancer into the past so that no one else has to hear those three words, “You have cancer.”
“It has been one week since Relay for Life and my reasoning for walking barefoot has changed so much. As I walked so many more reasons came flooding to me, especially at night with the luminaries surrounding the track. I realized that as you watch a loved one suffer through their treatment you constantly say that you wish you could take some of their pain from them, walking barefoot allowed me to feel as though I had taken some of that pain from them. It also allowed me to physically feel the progression as my legs went from strong to weak to unable to walk. Walking barefoot for me was similar to my grandfather’s cancer journey, like Multiple Myeloma, the pain would go away or subside, but it would always come back. I felt really connected to my grandpa during this experience, and while it hurt a lot, I will definitely do it again next year.”
Additional details on the Beautiful Feet team can be found on their Relay for Life page here: http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/?team_id=1976151&pg=team&fr_id=71676