FEBRUARY 4, 2020
It’s already February and today is #WorldCancerDay2020. The theme is #IamandIwill.
As a service we have had over 30 new referrals this year. But I want to talk about one particular young man that I had the privilege of meeting.
His journey with cancer began 3 years ago. He was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive bone cancer that after numerous surgeries, chemotherapies and other interventions has spread viciously. He is now in the final stages of his disease.
What makes this young man so remarkable is his compassion for others and his incredible inner strength. Throughout his hospital visits he remained more interested in cheering up other patients, than worrying about himself. He has a passion for children with cancer and has started his own NGO to raise money to support these kids.
Bolstered by his faith and beautiful, supportive family and friends, he has accepted his fate and is gracefully managing his pain and time of suffering.
What I have found truly amazing is the peace, although a sad peace, that surrounds this family. There are many contributing factors but one of the key things that sets this family apart is their willingness to be open and honest about the reality of this boy’s disease and final few months. He broached the subject by frankly telling them there is no hope for him and that they must prepare for his death. He has planned his own funeral to the finest detail; he has met with his religious leader to discuss cremation vs burial. He has tasked his parents with future plans for the NGO and helped them to laugh and even make jokes.
By facing the truth so bravely they have given themselves the gift of memory making and permission to grieve together.
I believe we could all learn this lesson. As my son reminds me – mom, stop stressing, no one gets out of life alive!
So this World Cancer Day, who are who and what will you do to spread cancer awareness or support someone with the disease?