I work for the MD Anderson Cancer Center. It is the finest cancer hospital in the world and I am proud to work there. However, I hope I never have to come to the campus for any reason other than work. I just cannot imagine what it would feel like to hear someone say “You have cancer”. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of people hear those very words each and every day.
A few years ago one of my oldest friends (not in age, in length of time we have known each other), heard those words. Like 226,000 other women that year, Janice had her world rocked by a diagnosis of invasive breast cancer. Now Janice was lucky. She was young and healthy and she caught it fairly early. However, it was a very aggressive type of cancer and there were times when she didn’t think she would make our 30th Class Reunion. Janice persevered. Thanks to great treatment, a positive attitude and the support of her loving family, Janice is now a survivor. And because she is a survivor, she is honored to be able to participate in “Relay for Life” each and every year.
This year, thanks to the generosity of Tree Town USA, Janice and her husband Morgan (my botanical brother) got to do a whole lot more than walk at the Grand Praire Relay for Life event. Tree Town USA donated a variety of very nice trees as gifts for the survivors. Morgan and Janice had so much fun distributing the trees. They got to meet and share experiences with several wonderful people who had all gone through cancer treatment and lived to tell the tale. They were moved by those stories and humbled to meet people that were enduring things that no one should ever have to endure.
If you would like to take part in a fun and healthy activity that raises money to cure a disease that will eventually effect one in three of us, consider participating in a local Relay for Life event. Relay for Life events happen all over the country in the spring. Groups of people agree to walk all night (because cancer never sleeps) to raise funds for the American Cancer Society. My wife does one in Brenham each year and the girls all dress up in theme costumes and have a ton of fun raising money and honoring all that have struggled with cancer.
MD Anderson has a new president. His name is Dr. Ronald DePhino and it is his strong belief and goal that during his tenure, MD Anderson will finally be able to cure several types of cancer. Research and science have now progressed to a point that his dream is actually possible. However, all of that research and science costs money. Generous donors like Tree Town USA, great organizations like Relay for Life and scores of volunteers are all helping Dr. DePhino and MD Anderson “Make Cancer History”. Thanks to all of you that do so much to help us fight this deadly disease!