UPDATED–Cancer Sucks, so Walk the Walks.

Cancer sucks. So start walking the walks.  The 5Ks.  The bike rides.  Whatever tickles your fancy.  Just do it.  I think you can even Fly a Kite for a Cure, but don’t quote me on that. 

Let me give some backstory.  Cancer isn’t prevalent in my blood relatives with the exception of my favorite aunt having eyelid cancer.  I could change that since I did smoke for 20 years, but as a whole, cancer is not what gets us in the end.  We have heart problems, but for the most part, folks live a long life (my grandfather is 91 and my grandmother is 89 and will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary in December, God willing).  However, it has touched my cousins and numerous friends and their families.  

This post started formulating in my head while I was watching Desperate Housewives, and Karen McCluskey (played by the amazing Kathryn Joosten) is diagnosed with lung cancer that has metastasized to her brain.  Kathryn lost her battle to lung cancer 20 days after the series finale of DH when her character, Karen, died –Kathryn had beaten it twice earlier in her life. 

I have an old friend of mine who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year, had a double mastectomy and was told she was good to go with no chemo.  A month and a half later, she has been informed that she will be doing chemo.  That was a helluva shock to her and her family.

My friend lost her mother to Ovarian Cancer two and a half years ago.  It spread rapidly and took her by the end of the year.  It was devastating to her and her family, and my heart hurt for her loss and my inability to take the pain away.

My husband has a fraternity brother who is battling Stage 4 Glioblastoma Multiforme-a very ugly and evil type of brain cancer.  He blogs about his daily battles (http://glioblasted.com/), the medicines and trials he faces, and the amazing support he has from his beautiful wife and their family and friends.  And he does his best to stay positive.  His inner strength is something to behold, and something everyone can learn from.  I hope if me or Patrick ever have to go through something like this, we have half the strength that Kebo has.  It truly is something to behold.

My friend Krysty’s father is also battling Stage 4 GBM.  It has been a trying time for them, but they are persevering and staying positive and praying for a cure. 

My Uncle Jack passed away in November of 1993 of a brain tumor.  I was 20 years old when he died, and it broke my heart.  my brother and I were visiting my mom in Maryland during Thanksgiving that year when he passed away.  He had four children–my cousins that I grew up with and spent summers with in Maryland.  He was my Summer Dad.  He loved his family with a passion and that love engulfed my brother and I when we were visiting.  It was hard to say goodbye to him.

These are just a few of the ways cancer has touched myself and my loved ones.  And that’s why you should do whatever you can to help with research and homecare.  I do several 5ks a year (I’m a walker, not a runner…don’t be intimidated–just do it!), and we do the ones that are dog friendly.  I raise money through family, friends and teammates, and we all usually go to lunch, or I host a lunch afterwards. 

And please don’t let your generosity end with cancer.  There are oodles of causes that affect us.  I will be doing the Alzheimers Walk this year with my mother and the people she works with at the memory care assisted living facility.  My uncle was born with Down Syndrome, and we have done that walk as well.  Find one that matters to you.

Brain Cancer
http://www.milesforhope.org/ 

Ovarian Cancer
http://www.gaovariancancer.org/

Alzheimers
http://www.alz.org/georgia/

Down Syndrome
http://www.dsaatl.org/

Now sign up for something and make a difference!  Walk the Walks!

—-UPDATED—
I am sad to say that Ken lost his battle with GBM this morning.  Instead of doing Miles for Hope in honor of Ken, we will be doing it in memory of him.  Say a prayer for his wife and family.  

—UPDATE 2—
I just found out a good friend has MS.  We can add that walk to the list for next year as I missed it for 2013.
http://walkgaa.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?pg=entry&fr_id=19716

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