Why I Relay: Alyssa Manor

Alyssa and Jake

Alyssa and Jake

Most of us have been touched by cancer in some way or another whether it is a family member, friend, coworker, or possibly yourself. This is why I relay:

Cancer always seemed like a distant scary thing that couldn’t ever happen to anyone I knew. My naïve thoughts quickly changed when I met one of my closest friends, Jake Martell.

Jake and I met in Jr. High but became extremely close throughout high school. Jake was diagnosed with cancer at a young age, so when I met him, he had already fought cancer, multiple times.

Jake was an inspiration to any person he came into contact with. Jake was someone you could always count on to be a calming presence when chaos surrounded you.

I’ve counted on Jake for many things over the years; laughs, hugs, a shoulder to lean on, advice when things seemed unbearable, etc. He taught me so many life lessons and I am forever grateful to have had such a positive influence in my life.

He was always helping me even when he didn’t know he was doing it. His fight against cancer lasted until the very last day he was with us.

In a nutshell, he was JAKESTRONG. Watching Jake throughout his fight was unbelievable. He truly lived his life to the fullest.

Jake never put his dreams or ambitions in the “someday” category; instead, he would decide he wanted to do something and go get it done. Cancer took Jake from us last year, but I still feel his calming presence surrounding me.

My beautiful Mother, Tiffany Manor passed away three years ago from cancer. Tiffany fought the hard fight for two years.

She had the nickname “tuffy” as a young child, and she absolutely lived up to that name. I’ve never seen a woman so tough through life’s constant obstacles.

My Mom was sick for two years before passing away, and I only saw her cry twice. The two times she did cry in front of me was because she couldn’t fix the heart wrenching pain that I, her child, was feeling during this tough time.

She was my rock and my biggest supporter in life. I am so thankful that I had her in my life for 20 years. She was constantly showing me how to live life through the way she raised her three kids and the way she lived her life.

My Mom raised me to be the woman I am and I am so grateful for the many compliments I get about looking like her and acting like her. If I become half the woman/mother that my mom was, I will be happy.

She fought her battle with cancer head on and never let people pity her because she was so stubborn and determined to show cancer it couldn’t beat her.

My dear friend, Joleen Colton who beat cancer the first time around.

Unfortunately, cancer took her life too soon earlier this year. She was gentle soul and gave kindness to everyone she met. Joleen never let cancer take away her fun. One of my favorite examples is the electric run 5k.

Joleen was in treatment and unable to walk for long lengths of time. Instead of saying she didn’t want to participate, we decorated a wheelchair for her and ran while pushing her.

Not only did she come along, she would periodically get up out of the chair and jog alongside us because she wanted to get the full experience. Stories like this one show exactly the type of person Joleen was. She never gave up, she always had fun no matter what she was doing, and she wouldn’t let someone tell her she couldn’t do something.

I relay for all the people who no longer can, I relay for the people who are battling cancer, and I relay so that a day will come where cancer doesn’t stand a chance.”

The 2016 Relay For Life event takes place August 12 6pm – August 13 noon at the Stillwater Junior High School.

We’d like to invite the community to join us for this incredible event.

Visit our Relay page for more information and to register.