Monday, May 27, 2013

Speech Writing: Relay for Life 2013 Speech!

Relay for Life is a national event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. As a cancer patient/survivor, I have been asked by my good friend to give a speech at the event. I was hoping that some of you would be willing to give me some feedback on it in the 'comment' section of this blog. Thanks! The speech is below, and it's not done yet-- keep that in mind.

Relay for Life 2013 Speech

As Anthony Delmonte once said, “Cancer is never a face until it affects you or someone you know”. Cancer became a face to me on November 14, 2011. A day I will never forget. On November 14, 2011, I was diagnosed with a rare type of skin cancer on my scalp. Keep in mind that this was NOT caused by being in the sun for too long. I have never been to a tanning booth, either. The whole thing started on October 5, 2011. I had an appointment with the dermatologist to discuss my dandruff. I had also been noticing a bump on my scalp that had been there, oh, I don’t know, about 5-ish years? 3 pediatricians had told me it was nothing to worry about, and naturally I had believed them. I figured that as long as I was at the dermatologist anyway, I might as well show it to her. During the appointment, she gave me the option of having it biopsied because it looked red, which concerned her. I thought about it for a few minutes and then reluctantly agreed to go ahead with the procedure. 
     Getting the biopsy was terrible. I had to receive shots of local anesthesia in my head. On top of that, I had to deal with the constant worry of it harrowing and shocking test results. 
  The next day, on 11/14/11, we got the phone call from the dermatologist that simply said, “You have cancer. You’re going to need more surgery. I’m sorry”. Naturally, I broke down in tears. I didn’t even know what the true definition of cancer was, but nonetheless, it was staring me in the face. I could run from it, but I couldn’t hide from it. 
  The next few weeks were a huge blur. We must have seen three or four doctors. During that time, I had to get an MRI of my head to see how big the cancer was. Luckily, it was only the size of an eraser. Eventually, we decided on going to experts at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. That’s when things started moving really quickly. 
I ended up having two surgeries- one to take out the cancer and a skin graft operation to close the huge wound from the first surgery. The wound would never close by itself due to how big it was, so the doctors took a piece of skin from my leg and put it on my scalp. I’ll get back to that part in just a few moments. In the meantime, I first want to talk about how bad the first surgery was.
   I was awake and numb for the first surgery, which lasted for about 5 hours. During the surgery, the surgeon took a little bit of skin off and checked for cancer 


  1. The opening sounds good. I would however make a long process shorter. Less details, for a speech...If you were publishing a book, the details of course. After your speech, someone with similar issues may approach you and you could of course go into all the details if they so wished you to.

    There will be other speakers, people are sitting, and less is more to hold your audience.

    My opinion

  2. Your speech has a really powerful opening--it reeled me in right away and had me keep me reading, so I feel it will reel others in enough to keep them listening! Also, I think Sandy has some great advice about length. "Less is more" does tend to ring true for speeches, especially for anyone in the audience with a short attention span. Still, fantastic job so far! You have an incredible amount of strength to have not only gone through this, but to speak about it to others like this...

  3. Hi Morgan - that's some process ... but it's a story so worth telling. You've got some powerful words here, which are essential for others to read and know about ..

    I was wondering if you could shorten the speech and perhaps add a hand-out, or do an ebook or book if you have time ... however don't lose the effect you're creating with your words.

    Perhaps check in with the organisers .. and get their thoughts ..

    Good luck - and I'm so pleased you're here to tell the tale ... Hilary


Thank you for taking the time to comment! :)