I participated in an Ambassador Activation on behalf of Influence Central for the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. I received a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
This year has been 8 years since my dad passed away from cancer.
My dad was diagnosed with gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST)(cancer) in 1999. At the time, his oncologist had no clue what this even was, much less even begin to know how to treat it. We lived in a small town and he was referred to oncologist after oncologist. He tried chemo but hated the effects. He had a 13 year old daughter and a 7 year old son who were begging him to come play, after all. He wasn't given very good odds because of the rarity of his disease. Thankfully, this didn't stop him.
My dad wasn't the kind of guy to sit back and just let this happen. He started looking into medical trials and over the years was matched up with trials in Philadelphia, Boston (at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute) and Santa Monica. He underwent several new-fangled surgeries (like being injected with a chemical that 'lit up' his cancer cells, very futuristic at the time) and at one point was traveling for treatment a cycle that sent him from Seattle to Boston on a rotation of once every 4 weeks, twice a month and then back to once every 4 weeks. Imagine the toll it takes on a healthy person to fly that often; and then imagine how a cancer patient feels.
Through his perseverance in trying to find a cure my dad lived with his disease for 9 years. I only know of one other person who has surpassed that time. My dad's battle is the symbolism behind my tattoo. During his travels for cancer treatment he took it as an opportunity to see parts of the country that he normally wouldn't have seen; and took my brother and I on several of those trips.
He couldn't have gotten to where he did without the help of others. As a state worker he was gifted vacation hours by his co-workers so that he can travel for his treatments. When he was in Boston he stayed with a family that made their upper floor available for cancer patients who came to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute. He connected with Angel Flights, where pilots volunteer their time and plane to fly medical patients where they need to go; in my dad's case from Seattle to Santa Monica.
In the last 8 years I've long considered how, or if, I ever would want to participate in any cancer fundraising events. There are a lot to choose from but none had really spoken to me in the way that Jimmy Walk Fund has. The care that my dad received at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute was cutting edge and probably more importantly...compassionate. Following his passing I actually got several phone calls and emails from his nurses and the receptionists at the cancer center who knew him and had stories to share with me. My dad always said that the people who he met at the cancer center were angels. They realized how important their role is in his journey and they took it seriously. They recognized that these patients are people with families.
|Photo credit to John Deputy|
|Photo credit to John Deputy|
Join me in my journey and help me reach my $500 goal!
Please share this facebook post
with anyone that you think will be interested!