Monday, May 19, 2014

Relay for Life

“We are going for a sonogram.”  I remember when I first heard those words from my parents.  I was a father, as Gab was born earlier that year, and I was very familiar with going with Debbie for sonograms to see the fetal development of what would end up being our daughter.  I remember thinking, “Don’t tell me my Mom got pregnant.”  “It might be nothing, we will have to wait and see,” said my father.  When the results came back from that and other tests, we learned that my mother had cancer.  This was my first experience with cancer.  My father went on to say that there would be further testing and eventually it was determined that she needed an operation and during surgery, they realized that the cancer had metastasized and she would require chemotherapy.  In the following months we did not know what the eventual outcome would be…we could be hopeful, but Mom was not getting stronger.  Yes, she had some good days…but in the end, a vibrant life left us. 

I know my story is not unique.  In the years that have followed, I have lost other family members to cancer and have other family members that are survivors, who must remain diligent in their follow up doctor visits.  Last June, our town of Paramus did their first Relay for Life.  The event was run by High School students in conjunction with the American Cancer Society.  I have cousins that have been involved for years with an event where they live and they often talked about how important the events were.  My wife was the captain of our team.  We called ourselves “F*** Cancer”.  The event started at 7:00 pm and our team had a representative walking throughout the night until it ended at 5:30 am.  There were ceremonies early in the night.  Then at about 10:00 came the silent walk.  First, they ask the survivors and their caretakers to walk the track, followed by everyone else.  During the lap, we walked by lit bags with the names of our beloved family members that lost their battle and those that survived.  I still choke up thinking about it.  It makes you realize how fragile life can be and how grateful we are for what we do have.

I do not often make an appeal.  I do believe that charity is important and that we each need to find the causes that are meaningful to us to help.  Having seen the impact of this disease in my family and in my community, I believe in this one.  If we can help to raise money for research, or even just raise awareness, we can all participate in combating this disease.  Below are the links to help.

Please feel free to share a personal story of your experiences below.
Thank you, in advance, your support. 

Click here to visit my PERSONAL page.
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Click here to view the TEAM page for F*** Cancer
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