Survivors Responsibility

“Now that YOU are in the fight, we will definitely win.”

I have been thinking a ton since my last blog. But mostly I have been thinking a lot lately about our former neighbor and friend Pam, who passed away nine years ago from cancer. She was tall, athletic, full of life, and ALWAYS smiling. I remember attending her funeral service and seeing her husband and daughter just wrought with grief. I remember thinking I hope my family never has to go through that. She was an amazing person, wife and mother, and I can’t help but wonder, what if? What if Pam had the opportunity to have the same treatments I have access to today? Would she still be here?

And I think that we, as survivors, have an obligation, a responsibility to carry on the fight for even better treatments for future cancer patients.

It will be two years since I have been diagnosed, and it still seems, well, like fake news to me, even as I type this. Yes, I have some minor joint pains – could be the meds, could be I am not 26 years old anymore, even though my brain wants to think differently. If you were to meet me today for the first time, you would not even be able to detect that I had cancer. That’s how far cancer research and treatment has come. Every pledge to programs like Cleveland Clinic’s Velosano Ride, The Ride for Roswell or programs such as Team In Training, help further advance research, treatments and cures.

I have always been interested in fundraising, even before I was diagnosed. I have always had the mindset that if you have been given the GIFT of health, one has a personal responsibility to USE that gift to help others. And, even though I now have a history of cancer – and right now that is what it is – history! I feel we owe it to the people like Pam and all the others who have gone before us, that weren’t so lucky to not only honor them but to keep pushing forward. To keep living life large and out loud.

I want to challenge you to change the mindset around having cancer. I don’t ever want to be labeled a cancer survivor, but rather I want to be thought of as a THRIVER.

So, in the weeks ahead, when fundraising events are in full swing, and someone asks you to donate, think. Think of everyone who has fought and lost, and those that are winning because of it. Think of Pam. Think of me.

Because now that you are in the fight, we will win.

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