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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Big C



Cancer. Not a very popular topic of discussion. The idea of cancer is simply quite depressing. Last year when I was asked to become a member of the American Cancer Society’s Blogger Advisory Council I agreed with a bit of trepidation.  Yes, cancer has touched my life but it hasn’t always been “my cause”. However, when I thought about it cancer has more than simply touched my life, my grandfather, my aunt, my cousin all succumbed to cancer. I went through the process of the initial diagnosis of breast cancer to mystectomy with my roommate in South Africa. She survived but another South African friend who wasn’t even thirty did not. My best friend’s mom has beaten breast cancer but our close friend’s mom did not. The list of people in my life with cancer goes on and on. I realized that given the opportunity to raise awareness about cancer I had to take it.

Little did I know that this would open the floodgates - I soon became a blogging ambassador for the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Aflac Cancer and Blood Diseases center. And shortly thereafter I was referring my friend Jennae to their services when her four year old Ja’Naya was diagnosed with leukemia. And now of course, I’ve successfully raised over $4000 for the Leukemia and Lymphomia Society with team in training and will be running the Nike Women’s Half-Marathon in honor of Ja’Naya and in memory of my Aunt Helen and cousin George.

When I was in New York I visited the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge which provides free housing for patients undergoing treatment. What a remarkable place and meeting volunteers and residents furthered my resolve to raise awareness about cancer.  I was also inspired when I visited the set of the Today Show and while awaiting my interview for Today’s Moms, I met a woman visiting NY currently undergoing treatment for leukemia. We talked about her trip, dealing with her illness and her children’s desire to protect her. We bonded - I as the child of a person with a chronic disease and she as a mom.

With all of these touchpoints in my life, it is clear that the message needs to get out. There are things that we can do to reduce our risk of getting cancer and also get an early diagnosis. Diet and exercise, self-breast exam, mammography at 40 are all things that we can do. This evening Mom It Forward’s Girl’s Night Out #GNO is all about cancer. I hope that you can join the discussion - we have members of the ACS Bloggers Council, a staff member from ACS and one of our members currently undergoing treatment.

1 comment:

Becky Jane said...

Your involvement is the fight against Cancer is inspiring. My dad died of cancer and it seems there are so many people, young and old, that I know who are fighting the battle.

Physical and mental nutrition are a vital link in avoiding and fighting this relentless disease.
Thanks for your post,
Becky Jane

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