“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” –Matthew 6:34
Any evil condition or thing that spreads destructively, more commonly known as the word cancer. This five-letter word, both terrifying and numbing all at the same time, was never foreign to me. As a kid, my younger cousin Tayler was diagnosed in 1999 with a rare cancer attacking her kidney. I can vividly see myself still visiting her in the hospital and exploring Loma Linda, I remember her thin long, single strands of hair left over from her chemotherapy that she brushed and refused to cut because she wanted to keep her long hair. The memory seeing her after surgery and her cheery little smile, looking at me. She was so strong for such a little girl. At 7, can anyone really grasp what cancer is or more importantly the destruction it can cause? A handful of years passed, my aunt, Tayler’s mom, was diagnosed with Leukemia. I just didn’t think it was possible. It never occurred to me that this would happen, again to my family, not mine. My Aunt Julie fought a hard battle undergoing rough treatments of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, long stays at City of Hope Hospital and countless visitors in gowns and facemasks containing germs. It was a rough year that she gave a good fight before she physically left us at the ripe age of 43. My sweet friend Raeleen, who I have known since 4th grade, is now battling her third time against this horrible, destructive growth of abnormal cells. She too has Leukemia (ALL) and just recently went through a bone marrow transplant in hopes this is her answer. Because she could not find a perfect match they are using her brother’s marrow, hoping this is her cure. She is so strong and has so much to give this world. Last week, the day before she left for City of Hope to receive the transplant, Brooklyn, Sophia, and I headed over to send her off with well wishes. What I hadn’t anticipated were the belly laughs and tears of laughter we were having playing with her wigs. This girls were so interested in seeing her hairless head, and asking all kinds of questions. We had way too much fun!
Times like this make me sit back and realize we take our daily health for granted. We have lungs that work, blood that flows like the rhythm of a river, and organs at work for us. What can we do for those that don’t? We can donate blood that these patients are losing or need transfused. We can get tested to be a bone marrow transplant donor with a simple swab to your mouth. Volunteer at a hospital to visit with patients when they feel down. There are so many costless things we can do to help those in need. I know I am terrified of the thought of my hip being grinded into if I got that call that I am a match, then I sit back, and realize, I am saving a life, I have the power to keep a mom, or sister, or son alive. That is so powerful.I encourage you to extend a arm to those who are reaching out.
Whatever you believe, if you pray, if you send good vibes, anything positive, please send them to my friend Raeleen. She needs as much prayer, support, and good vibes going her way. She will win this battle.