When cancer strikes
As a teenager I started wearing a LiveStrong bracelet, at first it was because it was a fad and I love the color yellow! Then I liked the general message of live strong--I felt like it was a good message we could all be inspired by. I never really wore it for its real meaning, which was cancer awareness.
I read Lance Armstrong's book, "Without a Bike" I was moved by his story and everything he has been through. I've walked at relay for life events, spoke as an emcee for work at several events to raise money and awareness for cancer research, I've even donated hundreds of dollars of my own money to fundraisers to help. Over the years, I've met with and reported on dozens of people of all ages who have cancer, had cancer, some even died because of it.
The more I reported on these stories the more meaning the bracelet I wore started to have. That bracelet eventually broke and I never replaced it. I was often criticized for wearing it on TV by management at my older stations saying it wasn't professional; so I never got a new one.
Last month, for the first time in my family, a member was diagnosed with cancer. My aunt has stage four lung cancer and is now under going treatment. Her prognosis is still uncertain and the outlook appears grim. It' hard to understand how a woman who never smoked, just turning 60 could be hit so hard by such a disease. My heart breaks as I talk to her on the phone. I always start the daily conversations the same, "How are you feeling?" I feel fine," is always her reply, quickly followed up with, "How are you?" How inspired I am, that with all she is dealing with she within the first two minutes is always asking about me.
I know many of you reading this blog can relate. It's disheartening how many people have shared similar experiences or are going through a similar pain right now. That bracelet, although long gone by now, has a new meaning tonight.
Please raise my family up in your thoughts--as I will continue to do for those who are fighting along with my aunt right now.