Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Cancer sucks

Yesterday I posted a public service announcement by Jerry Hunnicut imploring President Bush to restore the funds he cut from the National Cancer Institute budget. In recent years, Bush has cut more than $33 million from cancer research funds.

I found the video on Phawker, and posted it because cancer is a part of who I am. I had the disease when I was seven, and thankfully made a full and relapse-free recovery. My cells are pure and healthy, but cancer will never leave my body.

It is a part of me. And over the years, it has become a part of others who I love. My parents cared for a sick child during one of the scariest times of their lives.

In high school, a good friend's mother was diagnosed, and has gone through years of grueling chemotherapy and radiation, treatments that can be just as ghastly as the disease itself.

In college, my best friend's father was diagnosed with cancer of the bone, and incurable strain of the disease.

Last year, my college roommate and closest girlfriend's mother passed away after fighting her battle against cancer for less than a year.

And somewhat ironically, today, the day after I posted that video, another girl in my tightly knit group of college friends lost her father to the disease.

For the second time in a single year, my friends and I are left reeling over the devastating effects of cancer. And one more of us is ending her first day without her parent.

Cancer is a filthy word and when it passes the lips it falls to the floor in an earth-shattering crash that leaves your ear drums ringing. Every time you hear the word after you have heard it for the first real time, it has the same effect and you are never the same.

Today I went to a speech by Michelle Obama, and it filled me with hope. Hope for the country, and everyone in it. For education, the economy, healthcare, foreign relations, you've heard it all before.

But leaving the rally with Michelle's words bouncing around my skull, some of them couldn't help but stick to my thoughts of cancer, raw and painful from a fresh reminder.

Despite all of the people I have known and lost, I still have hope that one day there will be a cure. And I know there are men, women, and children around the world who wake up every day with the same hope on their minds, a hope even more desperate than mine.

Join the fight against cancer. You don't have to be a doctor or a scientist to help (lord knows science is not mah thang, and just about all of my high school teachers would tell you that).

At the risk of sounding like a public service announcement, together we can make a difference. Seriously. Just do it. Now.


Kristen said...

You learn something new about your friends everyday, huh? I'm inspired by you, Bridget, and I don't say that lightly (no apathy here!) Keep advocating for the causes that matter to you... you're making a difference.

RBL said...

one way to join the fight against cancer is to QUIT SMOKING, and to fight for a cleaner environment. i believe many of these cancers are self-inflicted by mankind. we are spending billions to treat a condition that our industrialized society causes. the cure for cancer is to stop pumping and dumping toxic waste into the environment planet wide, and to stop putting un healthy chemicals into our foods, drinks, cosmetics, etc. if you looked into the list of chemicals that are on the lanel of your shampoo, and read about their side effects and toxicity, you would faint. society needs to clean up its act as part of the fight against cancer.


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