Today, I have a family member going through chemotherapy and another who is having surgery for cancer as we speak. Within one year of my own diagnosis and embarking on treatment, 2 family members were diagnosed and began their treatment. One survived cancer once before, and another didn't see this coming after years of diligent screenings.
This disease, or as Lance Armstrong pointed out in March at the LIVESTRONG Leader Summit, this collection of thousands of diseases with their own personalities, traits and Achilles' Heels, does not discriminate. It does not distinguish between fair and unfair. It doesn't appreciate irony or Murphy's Law. It has no concept nor care of how it can push an individual, or a family, beyond their breaking points. It's oblivious as to what a burden it is on us. It simply doesn't care.
But LIVESTRONG does.
While I cannot come out publicly, at this time, with specifics, I can tell you that in the past few days, as little was being asked of LIVESTRONG, the organization reacted and responded. Two days after letting a contact at LIVESTRONG know, a box was shipped to my family member with support material. A fellow LIVESTRONG Leader participated in a mud run with my family member on his back. I've gotten advice on this person's type of cancer already, how to help after today's surgery (as this surgery is very different from my own), and tips as to how to help this person deal with their upcoming radiation treatments, which I didn't have to endure. They are willing to reach out to other caregivers.
And, all the while, without intruding on my family member's situation, as they went within one week from out-of-the-blue diagnosis to surgery. I know, without question, they will be ready when this person is ready to speak with them, and I also know they are available to those immediately around this cancer fighter when they need help and support.
More so, LIVESTRONG is providing an outlet for the frustration that we feel - that cancer does not - at having our immediate network barraged by this infernal disease within a calendar year - my children and I will take our aggression out on the road at the LIVESTRONG Challenge in a month.
I hope my fellow family members fighting cancer can join me someday at the Challenge to see the masses of supporters they have and don't even realize right now.
Your donations do that. They really do. Your donations provide LIVESTRONG the ability to fund programs that can directly, locally, touch cancer fighters and their families, like mine. Supporting the organization allows them to provide a unique opportunity for cancer fighters to gather together and fight the only ways we are able to - on the road, with our own bodies, letting out our anger, frustration, and triumph, in a celebration. A donation today will continue to enable us to be a safety net not only for the cancer fighters themselves, but their support networks.
Please consider a donation today. Do it in honor of my family. In honor of yours. And in honor of the families around you that you'll never know are fighting, too.