Of all the horrible words I can think of, the "C" word is my least favorite. Cancer. Every single one of us has known people who battled a type of this disease. Some won, some lost and some continue to fight. While my family history is replete with heart problems and diabetes, my husband's family is rife with cancer victims. This means my children stand to inherit more than our life insurance money because they have the same genetics coursing through their bodies.
When my husband was diagnosed at age 46 with prostate cancer (20 years below the national average) it was frightening and consuming. We could hardly breathe initially and began a frantic search for best options. Fortunately, because of early detection and medical advances, he was successfully treated and had a full recovery. He didn't have to endure sickening, long rounds of chemotherapy or lose his hair to radiation but surgery required some disciplined down-time.
As he went through this experience, he was surrounded by family and friends who kept in constant touch, prayed, joked and offered every kind of help. Many people walk this dark journey alone and many suffer greatly before succumbing to the ravages of the disease. He knows how blessed he is and frequently "evangelizes" to men about the critical importance of a yearly prostate check, including PSA blood tests.
Our friend Joel received his diagnosis at a much more advanced stage than my husband and he is suffering through much more difficult treatment, with less assurance of a winning outcome. His family is fearful and travel long distances to spend time with him. Others we know only hope to see a child graduate, get married or to see the face of a new grandchild before they lose the war.
You've certainly heard all this before but please don't get de-sensitized to the message. When it happens to the one you love most, this will become very real. It's already brutally real to those facing it today. Stand by them and stand in the gap to ensure that more people survive in the future. Please consider making a donation or participating in the event below. Do it for Joel in New York. Do it for Michelle in Ohio, a young mom battling ovarian cancer. Do it for Joann in Phoenix, a mom of three nearing the end of a losing battle with brain cancer. Do it in the name of a cancer victim you have loved or an unknown loved one who could fall victim in years to come. My husband, children and parents will be walking. Let us know if you'd like to support us or join us in the cause or donate on behalf of our efforts at Joni's link at the bottom of the page.
Below is a letter from Joni Corby, my sister-in-law, chronicling our family's relationship to cancer and a bit about our choice of how to fight back.
For the third year in a row, I am participating in the American Cancer Society "Relay for Life" fundraiser on Sept 26th. Many in our family have battled cancer..........The survivors include Brad Markins (prostate cancer), Jim Markins (prostate cancer), Nancy Markins (melanoma cancer) and myself. (breast cancer). Some of us are currently fighting cancer..........Janet Markins (breast cancer) and Jerry Markins (prostate cancer). Some of us fought it in the past.......Nellie Markins (breast cancer), Joanna Romero (breast cancer) and Louise Dye.(lymphoma) Unfortunately, some in our family have lost the battle with cancer...........Danny Romero, Micki Romero, Penny Vandervier, Don Nelson and Tim Markins. You can find even more cases if you look to our extended families. (Forgive me if I am forgetting someone, but I think you can understand that cancer has certainly touched our family.)
I want to invite you to join me in the fight against cancer by making a donation in support of my efforts. Further down in this message is a link to my personal Relay For Life® web page where you can make an online contribution. Every amount, no matter how small, makes a difference and provides hope. I've made a goal of raising $1000.00.
You can make a personal donation (and I hope you will!) but I would like to challenge you to get even more involved by raising some money yourself as well toward this cause. You can forward this email (or just the link to my Relay for Life page) to your friends and other family members too. If everyone contributes something, we will make a difference.
If you're like me, you want to know how your donation is spent. Here is how a $1.00 donation is divided up:
$0.15 Patient services
For those of you that live in the Phoenix area, I want to invite you to join me at the event itself on Sat Sept 26th at 6 pm Boulder Creek High School in Anthem. It's a very moving experience to be a part of remembering those who have battled cancer as well as providing hope for those yet to be diagnosed. You can read more about it at www.relayforlife.org/anthemaz
Relay For Life® brings more than 3.5 million people from across the country together each year to celebrate the lives of those who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and fight back against a disease that takes too much.
Thank you in advance for your support. Together, we will celebrate, remember, and fight back.Click HERE to access my personal page to donate.
Share your personal journey with cancer. We all need motivation and inspiration to take action!