Friday, October 2, 2009

Making Strides

I have signed up to walk in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 18th. I am currently collecting donations and would appreciate any help you can give. Feel free to share this link with your friends, family, co-workers, or anyone else you think might be interested. Any amount will help, and I know that together we can make a difference to fight this disease which affects so many women and their families across our country.

My Grandmother is a Breast Cancer survivor. I was so young when they found her cancer, I don't even remember it. She was lucky enough to have it detected on a regular mammogram, the cancer was the size of the head of a pin. She was one of the lucky ones, and I am so grateful to organizations like the American Cancer Society for being such strong advocates for education and fundraising. Events like Making Strides are invaluable, they help bring awareness and much needed funds to support research and treatment.

I have had the same best friend since I moved next door to her over 14 years ago. Her mom, Beth, has been like a second mother to me, and I can't imagine my life without her. When I was a senior in high school, Beth was diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the first time. She went through chemotherapy and a very painful surgery to remove nearly half of her right breast, but her treatments were successful, and she was in remission for the next few years. Last summer, Beth went in for her check-up. Unfortunately the doctors found that she had Breast Cancer in her left breast this time, and worse, it had spread to her lymph nodes. She made the bold decision to have a double mastectomy and is now going through chemotherapy for the second time.

I will always admire her for her strength and courage. She has been so incredibly tough throughout this whole ordeal, because she has to be. Beth Loper is the glue that holds her family together, and she knows it. I have seen the way it affects her entire family and the way it has affected mine as well. Right now, the Loper family is fighting for more than just Beth. Her mother and mother-in-law are also currently in treatment for Breast Cancer. My best friend, Allison, is considering preemptive mastectomy to prevent her from getting the cancer which has plagued all generations of her family thus far. We will all continue to pray and have faith that these very important, very strong women, will win their fight.

A little over four years ago, I lost someone very close to me from Breast Cancer. A client of my Mother's, and a close family friend, was diagnosed with breast cancer in her early thirties. She had a toddler son whom I would often babysit. She and her husband were very active in a local church in my hometown, and Julie had a smile that lit up the room. I watched this vibrant, young woman go through chemotherapy and lose her hair and eventually, her breasts. Throughout the entire ordeal, I never once saw Julie without a smile on her face. She was the epitome of strength to me. Sadly, she lost her fight with Breast Cancer, but she will never stop inspiring me and the others whose lives she touched with her positivity. I oftentimes wonder if her son, Luke, who was only three when she passed away, will ever know just how hard his mother fought to stay with him.

As I write this I am furious. I have been so blessed in my life, and I live in such a time of technology, money, and progress, I can't rationalize to myself that there is no cure for Cancer. Treatment is great, and certainly there are many success stories, for which I am grateful. Treatment, however, is not enough. I will not be satisfied until there is a cure for this disease, and there are no more women dying, no more broken families, and no more fear.

Please click on the link below to view my personal page on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website. I would greatly appreciate any gift you can give, and you truly will be helping make a difference in the lives of women across the country.

-V.O'Neel

The American Cancer Society
Shared via AddThis

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.”
-Dr. Seuss
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Songs:
"Praise You in this Storm" Casting Crowns

1 comment:

MoreThanMyOwnLife said...

What a beautiful post and I am so happy to hear you are doing the walk! Unfortunately I will be at a wedding this weekend the week the walk is nearest to me, so I'm bummed I'll miss it. I have been blessed in my life to know 2 beautiful and strong women who were diagnosed with breast cancer, my best friend's mother who is a surviver, and my grandmother who I lost to cancer. It is very frustrating that there is no cure, but I pray that one day there will be, and hopefully that one day is soon.

Your blog is super adorable and I love your name. (I'm Vanessa too! 8)

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