The Relay Refresh RoadTrip rolled into Sandusky, Ohio, on the shores of Lake Erie midway between Toledo and Cleveland to visit with Dianna Wycliffe. A passionate Relayer and recipient of the 2016 Spirit of Relay Award, Dianna has gone above and beyond to help the American Cancer Society lead the fight for a world without cancer through Relay For Life of Second Life.
This Relay season, Dianna has taken on yet another task. She will be coordinating the “Why I Relay” project. She will be visiting events over the next several months and snapping pictures of Second Life residents sharing the names of the people they Relay for inworld. She has taken this idea along with this year’s “United We Relay” logo and has created a fresh approach for taking the “Why I Relay” pictures for Second Life.
Look for Dianna at Relay events and get a picture that lets everyone know that you Relay for a special someone.
Dianna came to Second Life just over 10 years ago. It all started while watching the evening news and seeing a story about a virtual world called Second Life. She told us she immediately got on her Mac and “literally created an account and logged on”. She quickly invited all of her AOL chatroom friends to join her. She told us that chatting and having coffee with her AOL group, became so much better in SL, when they had the visual of them sitting together, chatting and drinking coffee face to face.
Ten years later she has 97,415 items in her inventory that she keeps track of with her iMac desktop with a Retina display. An Apple fanatic, she also carries an iPhone 7 Plus. When asked about a funny noob story, she recalled how her and her AOL chatroom friends went snow skiing. She told us they all thought “how cool this really was” and as “they got off the lift and headed down hill”, she all of a sudden found herself one with a tree. She laughed as she confessed to not knowing how to free herself from the tree, only to find out, like so many others, that logging off will get you out of most any predicament.
As the questions moved to her favorite song, Dianna told us it was Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran. Being only days away from the 6 year anniversary of her mom’s passing from cancer, Dianna shared with us how she still misses her mom every day. She said this song “makes her cry” but she loves listening to it and loves the wonderful memories of her mom.
Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BaKwRXMoL1Q
She told us Bon Jovi is her favorite artist and her favorite TV shows include Blacklist, Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. She is also a huge fan of Dick Wolf, an American TV producer, and all of his “Chicago” TV series.
When asked about what makes her laugh, Dianna said “other people laughing”. She said she “likes when other people are happy”. Her mom is of course her hero. A strong Italian Catholic woman who thought outside the box, her mom was raised to believe that girls quit high school, got married and had babies, but “she was having none of that”. Her mom instead decided she wanted more, went to college and became a Social Worker working in Child Protective Services. Her mom spent her life helping teenagers get into better living situations. Dianna told us “she was a single mom who raised her children on her own”. She was an inspiration to Dianna in so many ways and is missed so very much.
Dianna has been Relaying in Second Life since 2008, a year after she first logged on. She met Random Darrow and began hosting for her at her Rockers Club. Random asked her if she wanted to join their Relay team, Harmony of Hope, and Dianna said yes and has never looked back. She has been on that same team for 10 years and has also stepped up in many leadership capacities, among them organizing fundraising classes for teams, being activity lead for Relay weekend, and this year organizing the Why I Relay project.
Harmony of Hope does many fundraising events over the season and one of their signature events is Bid Me Bald, which they have expanded to include RL challenges, one of which was a team member offering to have his wife wax his chest on live audio for all to hear if one million lindens were raised for Relay. The lindens came in quickly and his chest hair was removed just as quickly for all to hear. Year after year, Harmony of Hope is one of the top fundraising teams. Dianna also Relays in RL, but not as extensively as she does in SL. She attends the 24 hour Relay Walk at her local high school.
Dianna Relays for many family members. She shared with us that she has lost many in her family to cancer, including her mother, her grandmother and her grandfather. Dianna remembers her first Relay weekend during the Luminary Ceremony, she was listening to all the names and stories being read, when she heard “Dianna Wycliffe is Relaying for her Grandfather who she misses very much”. She was so surprised and moved, she knew she had not submitted anything to be read, and it turned out her friend Random had done it for her. She told us she was “balling” and she was “hooked” and to this day the Luminary Ceremony remains her “favorite part of Relay weekend”.
Dianna Wycliffe is a passionate Relayer who is amazed with the diversity in Second Life. She spoke of the various groups and sub groups of people, tinies, vampires, goreans, fairies, the list is long. She told us that most of these groups have little if any interaction with each other during the year. But on Relay weekend, she said with exuberance, “you get to know the rest of the grid, for that weekend we are all the same”. She told us “they all come together, they all Relay together, they all walk the track together, for that weekend we are all working for one goal”.
Everyone hopes there will be no need to Relay ten years from now, but if we are, it is with certainty that Dianna will be there just as enthusiastic and committed as she was during her first Relay season.
Dianna will raise her hand… Dianna will step up and help in any way that she can… Dianna will do it with a positive attitude and a smile… and Dianna will tell you that one day we will celebrate a cure, until then we Relay….
Walk on Dianna… United We Relay...
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