This year marks the 10th anniversary of my daughter Amy’s stem cell transplant from my son Matt to save her life when she was battling leukemia. She spent 31 days in the hospital on two separate occasions. Ten years later, she is happy, healthy, and married with a beautiful son Lucas and two cute dogs. Because of Amy’s experience, she became a Pediatric ICU nurse so she can have the same tremendous impact on patients that she received herself.
In addition to Amy, I am a breast cancer survivor and my husband Rick is a prostate cancer survivor. My brother Chuck died of pancreatic cancer, my mother is a lymphoma survivor and Rick’s Aunt Joan died of thyroid cancer. This year alone, our families lost 3 loved ones to cancer in a 4-month period.
The last months have been extremely stressful for everyone. All of us have been profoundly affected by this pandemic crisis, and part of our anxiety is not knowing when it is going to end. One thing is certain: showing kindness to one another will help us get through this. We need to have empathy for others and know that we may not understand how someone else is feeling, especially if we haven’t lived or walked in their shoes.
This year’s walk will be a virtual walk. I will be walking 26.2 miles from my home around my town and the surrounding towns. It will be different this year, partly because I will not be walking the Boston Marathon route but mostly because I will be walking without thousands of other walkers and people cheering. So that I will not be walking alone, I will wear ribbons to honor those who have been affected by cancer. Please let me know a name you would like me to honor by the end of September.
Not only is this year difficult for people emotionally, but I understand that it may also be difficult for many financially. Cancer touches everyone and cancer does not discriminate. We need to continue with research and clinical trials to help more cancer patients win their battle. My ambitious goal this year is to raise $5,000. Please donate if you can.
Remember, you are in charge of your own life. You may not have control over everything that happens in your life, but you do have choices on how you handle what life gives you. Live each day. Take good care of yourself. Exercise, eat healthy, get enough rest, and please don’t smoke. Do things in moderation, laugh often, think positively, have faith in God and pray.
Especially, be thankful for your blessings and be kind to yourself and to others.
Thank you for supporting my participation in the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. Together, we can conquer cancer!