Amy Lashek continues to relay on the Women of Steel, White and Teal team in Sheryl Sadorski-Gordon’s memory. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Why We Relay: Finding family in the relay

Amy Lashek finds kinship on the Relay for Life Women of Steel, White and Teal team

A lot has changed for Amy Lashek since last year’s Relay for Life.

Then, she was a new mom standing alongside her best friend Lindsay on Sheryl Sadorski-Gordon’s relay team. Now, she’s expecting again and the Women of Steel, White and Teal team is continuing to relay in Sheryl’s memory.

Lashek first met Lindsay when she moved to Prince Rupert five years ago. Since then, she’s come to consider her friend as family, Lindsay’s children akin to nieces and nephews.

At her first baby shower, Lashek remembers how, in the midst of all the excitement, she was inspired by Sheryl’s spirit.

“She was so weak she couldn’t even hold my son,” Lashek said. “She was still helping people. She was still giving words of wisdom, she was still giving. Right up until the end.”

At that moment, Lashek realized she could help more.

READ MORE: $120,000 raised at 2017 Prince Rupert Relay for Life

“I just thought with her, her last moments here were fighting. She was fighting for other people. That, to me, was just inspirational. When anybody could have been travelling the world, doing whatever or spending time with family, she was fighting right until the very end.”

The first time Lashek was involved in Relay for Life, she was a young kid living in Winnipeg. Her aunt passed away, leaving Lashek’s cousin without a mother.

“I recently became a mom and I’m expecting again. When I look at my son and my fiancé, I look at all of the things we have planned. You think you’re going to be there for grad, you’re going to be there for the first date and all of the big milestones — and cancer can hit anyone at any time,” Lashek said. “Watching them lose their stepmom, who was very active in their life… it’s sad.”

What draws Lashek to the relay, and all the fundraisers, auctions and bake sales before it, is how that sadness is turned into a supportive event, one her family looks forward to every year.

“It’s awesome to see her team, Women of Steel, carry on in Sheryl’s memory. I know it was tough for the girls this year because Sheryl is gone, and they continue without her,” Lashek said. “I think it’s important to keep that going, especially since she fought so hard.”

A lot has changed since last year’s relay. Now, Lashek won’t put off vacations until retirement, she’ll wait less and she’ll pay more attention to the little things.

What will stay the same is that she’ll keep giving back. She will be at the relay.

“However we can help, we will.”

Read more Why We Relay stories here.

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