So, about a week ago, a good guy that I knew in high school died of a rare form of head and neck cancer. It was so devastating! Well, anytime you hear about someone close to you or anyone in general developing, fighting, or dying from cancer, it's just the most awful news ever. But in his case, it was compounded by the fact that he and his family had to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for him to travel to another country for a surgery that MIGHT have given him a chance to live a longer life.
Unfortunately, because the science behind this surgery is so new, and the cost to continue research is so high, everything didn't work out as planned. His family raised the money, he went in for the surgery, and even began to recover, but all of a sudden, things took a turn for the worse and he past away.
Cancer affects us all. My grandfather died from lung cancer. My grandmother died from liver cancer. I never met my biological maternal grandmother because she died when my mom was very young. I do remember my grandfather even though he died when I was about 9 years old and I have fond memories of our time together. But what I hate most about cancer is it can strike at any time and in any capacity! My family is important to me. But for me, something really strikes me when I see my own life reflected in the wake of such a tragedy. There's a feeling of "that could've been me!"
This guy grew up in Baltimore, went to the same high school that I did, went to college to become an engineer like me, and worked just MINUTES away from me doing similar work (something I recently learned while reading more about the more recent events of his life in the newspaper). It really hit so close to home. I'm so grateful to God that it wasn't me, but that doesn't mean that I escaped it by any means. It could happen to me tomorrow, next year, 10 years from now....or to my best friend, her mother, my coworker's sister...ANYONE! And that's what I hate. It has to be stopped!
It's crazy how things work out. Since late last year, I've been trying to run on Fred's Team for the NYC Marathon.
I wanted to join the fight but I didn't really have a particular person or specific type of cancer to focus on until now. I just wanted to help out. But now, this is personal. Cancer took away a young man who MADE IT! Baltimore is a great town, don't get me wrong. But like any city, there are so many paths one could follow that could keep them in an ordinary circumstance which isn't bad...it's just ordinary. This guy was doing EXTRAordinary things with his intelligence, influence, and talents! He also left a wife and a very young daughter. No young child should have to suffer because of cancer.
So anyways, I'm all over the place with this post. Apologies.
Well, I still want to fight. I want to join Fred's Team or the DetermiNATION team to FIGHT cancer.
We've gotta keep funding the fight to further the research so we don't lose another person like him. It's just frustrating. I don't want to do the bear minimum. I want to do exceedingly more! I guess I have to rely on God to help me to meet this goal. The researchers need our help. We are able to run, swim, walk, bike, and just fight to get this done! I just want other people to feel as strongly as I do...angry enough to strike out cancer.
This is an all out war. I just hate it.