It’s September again and time to focus our efforts on supporting those whose lives have been touched by childhood cancer. Today and every Wednesday this month, supporters of this cause will meet in McAllen, Texas to take a walk together and bring some publicity to this fight. In its sixth year now, The Gold and The Beautiful organization has sponsored this walk for local families of children who have been diagnosed with cancer. Families and supporters will walk from Town Lake at Firemen’s Park to Vannie E. Cook Jr. Children’s Cancer & Hematology Clinic.
Why a walk?
Because a walk, like living with cancer, is a journey.
A walk is reflective of life in that it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. We all have a journey to make in this life of ours and it is important that we take a good hard look at the journies that other people make. We need to be made aware of the lives around us and help those that are not as fortunate as others. It is only in the understanding of the journey that other people make that we come to understand our role in our own.
I have learned many things in my 54 years. But this cancer journey with my grandson Andre has taught me that life isn’t always fair. Sometimes, and for reasons that no one knows, life attacks the most helpless and innocent among us. It is one thing to have lived a long life and then get sick with cancer. By then we have a good understanding of the ups and downs in life and may be at least somewhat prepared for a fight of this kind. By then we have built up methods to cope with life’s setbacks and prepare for the future. It is quite another to have cancer strike you when your life is just beginning. To fall sick to this horrible disease long before you have had a chance to live and grow into an adult. Kids should be playing and learning and growing. They should be at home driving their parents crazy. They should be leaving their toys everywhere and not picking them up. They should be learning to make friends. No one should have to suffer from cancer, much less suffer it so soon in their lives.
But we don’t get to decide these things. We can’t yet control everything life throws at us. But we do control how we react. All of us have a choice in our journey. We can decide to lie down and take it, or we can decide to fight. Not just for ourselves but for others also. We can decide to make a difference in people’s lives even if that difference is just showing up.
Andre can’t make it today. He is too weak from the chemo and testing this morning. But if you can you should show up. Come and meet some of the bravest people I have ever met. If you stop by today you will meet brave little heroes and their families, families who have lost more than anyone should be allowed to lose, and supporters like you who just want to help.
Come out and support these brave people if you can. If you can’t then find some other way to let them know that you care.