Monday, August 3, 2015

Why is Supporting Cancer Research Important to Me? Sheila's story

I'm on a journey to raise $500 before September 27th to benefit cancer research through the Jimmy Fund Walk and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Today I am honored to welcome Sheila, a good friend and new owner of Just Between Friends Marysville/Mount Vernon, a consignment sale event that is coming to Skagit County in Washington State! JBF Marysville/Mount Vernon has partnered with my goal and today we are sharing Sheila's story about why supporting cancer research is important to her. 
We are still looking for donations to reach our goal - please consider pledging $5 or more! Donate here

As far back as I can remember, I've heard the scary 'C' word mentioned in hushed adult conversations among my family.  Another aunt, uncle, or cousin has been diagnosed with cancer.  Another aunt, uncle, or cousin is dying from cancer--another aunt, uncle, or cousin has died from cancer.  

I remember a hushed conversation my parents were having one night where my dad was crying.  I was eight then.  This time, it was my grandmother who was very sick and going through chemo for colon cancer.  That previous summer, I had visited her in South Carolina, and she had lost all of her thick, wavy hair and a ton of weight.  I didn't understand the side-effects of chemo at eight, nor the severity of the situation.   When I look back to that summer trip, it's so bittersweet.  We had built many great memories together and planned so many things for my next visit.  I left with a happy heart, eager to return to her.  Little did I know, the embrace she gave me at the airport would be the last one from her.  I wish I remembered it more.

Just a few, precious months later, in October of 1990, my grandmother passed from colon cancer.  She was only 60.  She was only our family's everything--our matriarch, our anchor--our glue that held us together. 

Cancer research is important to me because when I think of my grandmother, I can't help but to also think of how cancer robbed our family of her prematurely.  I can't help but to think of my father's tears that night...or of mine.  

I've recently discovered that a genetic mutation predisposing us to certain types of cancer exists in my family's genes.  What this means for myself, my children, or their children, I'm not sure yet.  I will pray for the best.  What I do know is that I am grateful for the men and women researching the scary 'C,' and I am hopeful that by the time my children are adults the scary 'C' will be a little less frightening.  

Sheila Palaruan and her husband, Bryan Palaruan, are the owners of the new Just Between Friends Marysville/ Mt. Vernon children's consignment event.  They met in 2002 while serving in the Navy onboard the aircraft carrier, USS J.C. Stennis.  He claims she hit on him.  It totally didn't happen. Together, they have two children, Luciana (3), and Josiah (1).  They also have too many pets to name, and are proud residents of the Sky Valley.    

1 comment:

  1. "What this means for myself, my children, or their children, I'm not sure yet" What it means is that you can be proactive and get checked often!! You could catch something super early and be treated immediately!! Knowledge truly is power when it comes to diagnosis!!



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