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Relay for Life Last Weekend

Michael Lewis

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I shared in another forum area that I had chosen to walk in the Relay for Life event at the University of Washington, on Saturday last. I particularly enjoyed the fact that my son, Kevin asked to join me. Last minute, my daughter, Rebekah decided to come along, as well. What a proud dad!

I did raise considerably more for the event than I thought possible, by family and friends contacting others to support our efforts.

We arrived about 1:30PM and were pleased that there was special parking for survivors and that sign-in was easy. I was informed that our governor, Christine Gregoire, also a survivor, would be leading the survivors to open the event at 2:00PM. I was shamelessly in tears and so proud, as my children walked with me, one on each arm.

The nicest part of the event for me came following our lap, as Mrs. Gregoire took time to talk with any and all survivors, including my friend Cecilia and me. I wanted to ask (and did) about the tobacco settlement money. Mrs. G. was attorney general at the time of the lawsuits and led Washington's effort to get substantial money out of these tobacco farmers.

Unfortunately, our legislature, as did many other states', chose to misuse the initial and some future payments with very little being spent for cancer, particularly lung cancer. A substantial amount, however was spent for our state's program to provide medical care to indigent and impoverished families.

Mrs. G. says there is an additional $350 million coming soon which she has earmarked to the state's two universities, University of Washington and Washington State. These funds will go to medical research at the two facilities, including cancer research.

I was able to tell her that I was a lung cancer patient, among many on who's back the tobacco barons prospered. I told her clearly that my lung cancer would take another father from the two beautiful children who stood beside me. I asked for her help, if possible, to prioritize some of these research funds specifically to lung cancer. She was very honest in telling me that she had very little control over how these funds are prioritized.

Now we need to find the person(s) who do determine how these funds are spent/allocated.


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Thank you for furthering our cause. I try and do it whenever I can. As I have said so often, I think breast cancer gets so much attention and $$$ is because its survivors are noisey.

What a wonderful day for you and your children. May there be many, many more.

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And thank you from me for furthering our cause and making our voice heard!!!

I can FEEL the pride you described as you walked (erect with head high, I am sure) with your two wonderful children flanking you. What a moment! Here's hoping you will be walking with GRANDCHILDREN way down the road huh??? I am happy it was a good day.


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