Cancer steals lives. My step father was way too young when he died of cancer. He was smart and successful and had so much living left to do. And my close friend in New York lost her soul mate to cancer. They kissed for the first time in 1985, under the Washington Square arch on Halloween night.
The disease can inspire us. Rhonda Sparks, a widow who lost her husband at the age of 32 to skin cancer, vowed to help her young sons and others protect themselves from the sun. UV Skinz was born. I’ve never met her but consider her a friend and I wouldn’t buy a rash guard shirt from anyone else.
Cancer makes us cry and then we laugh. And then we cry again. Upon hearing that she had cancer, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reportedly said “If I had known this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have done all those sit-ups.”
It frightens us. One of my best friends is dealing with breast cancer right now. Another friend is facing cervical cancer. Another friend has been living with cancer for seven years. These women are brave and amazing.
It propels us to keep fighting.
60 years ago, 1 out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survived at least 5 years. Today, thanks in part to the work of the American Cancer Society, 2 out of 3 will survive.
It should be 3 out of 3.
There’s more work to be done. Hundreds of research studies went unfunded while 577,000 Americans died of cancer this year.
Cancer thrives on silence. So make some noise. Please take a moment and watch this video.
This post was sponsored by the American Cancer Society. All opinions are my own. If you’d like to donate, click here.