March 13.
I am completely beholden with not only the continued donations which arrive daily, but the incoming messages of personal stories as well.  These stories are not just a “Hey, I’ve heard of someone who had cancer once,” these are intimate descriptions of the heart-rending situations people have undergone – or, are in the midst of now.  I usually shake my head and read through watery eyes, as it simultaneously resonates on a core emotional level while stirring up my frustration and disbelief.

The stories also arrive from the least likely acquaintances, customers, or sometimes even total strangers.  The correlation between this and the answer to “who gets cancer” is not lost on me or anyone else, I’m sure.  We never know.  We only know it never seems right or adds up that THIS person would be the one to receive the news and experience the subsequent life-altering treatments, emotions, and changed relationships.
I lost my nephew to testicular cancer last year, he was 27 and one of my best friends just lost another best friend to leukemia at 52 just a month ago. I admire your willingness to put your story out there and fight the cause. I saw a commercial about not being quiet. Very cool stuff, still one in three, still too many. Good luck with the fund raising Beth.   

As with others who have written you their stories, I lost my very favorite uncle and my mother’s only brother to Hodgkins Lymphoma when he was only 32.  I was 8 and his sons were only 6 and 4.  He was such a handsome, kind man who I had such a crush on.  As the only girl with his two sons and four brothers of my own, he treated me like a princess.  I remember so vividly when he came to our house and the adults were talking about his treatment.  I of course had no clue how serious it all was, but I remember him unbuttoning his shirt and showing everyone the red dye where he was marked for his radiation treatments.  It wasn’t long after that he was gone.  I remember at the funeral being mad at my cousins (who have grown up to be incredible men and handsome like their father) because they weren’t crying. That’s how young they were.  There are so many things from my childhood that I don’t remember, but this time of my life is very vivid in my mind and I am honored to help in your quest, especially knowing how far treatments for Hodgkins have come since he lost his battle.

We know life is fragile.  We know life sometimes just does not make sense.  But we also know that for the circumstances we abhor and fear yet have some – any– control over, it makes them much more tolerable and much less painful.
Cancer is something we have a say in; it is something to which we can say NO MORE.  We may not know all the memories, but we know this. 
It’s time to take back control.

44 Days.