Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society

9 Apr

Tonight is Aggie Relay for Life. Though I was not involved on a team this year, Relay has a very special place in my heart.

It’s hard to believe that almost 4 years ago, while sitting outside of my Spanish Lit class in the Zachry building, I got a phone call from my dad that turned my world upside down. “Your mom has been life-flighted to Kansas City. They started a blood transfusion, and something is wrong”. After 2 days in ICU, we found out that my mom had leukemia, and it had advanced to a life threatening stage. A normal person has around 4.2 million red blood cells, my mom’s was less than 500,000. She literally had no blood in her body. My mom had so many blood transfusions we lost count, and each time her body attacked the blood. She ended up in the isolation unit of the hospital because she kept getting sick. She and anyone around her had to wear masks to keep her from becoming infected. My mom is better now, but because of the kind of cancer she has, she will never go into remission, and it WILL recur. Its just a matter of when.

Relay for Life is so important because it supports both patients like my mom, as well as cancer research. The cards, nutritional supplements, and small gifts my mom got from the American Cancer Society  went so far in helping her keep her spirits up. The money they donate to cancer research is invaluable because it helps researchers find less invasive methods of radiation, less devastating effects of chemotherapy,  and, I know, someday it will help find a cure.

Please think about attending a Relay for Life. If for nothing else than the lighting of the luminaries. Its a powerful reminder of how many people are affected by those terrible, life changing words: “I’m sorry, you have cancer”.

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