Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why We're Walking...for Phil and for Donna.

It’s everywhere.

Not a day goes by that don’t you hear that someone you work with, some friend of yours or their family, or even someone famous in the news has cancer. You read stats in magazines, newspapers and online. And everywhere you hear commercials for new medicines and hospitals that specialize in treatment. Still, you just never feel like it can happen to YOU. So when you or someone you love hears those words, “it’s cancer” it’s nothing short of unbelievable.

And devastating.

I will never forget the moment we heard those words. The sick, sinking feeling the moment the doctor told my husband his diagnosis. Cancer? Us? But he’s so young! We have 2 young kids! We have lives! Just yesterday we were complaining about something stupid like the kids' homework, bills, or work. And today...we have cancer?

This cannot be happening.

And how did he feel? If those words affected me so much, how on earth must they have affected him? We just stared at each other, speechless, for what seemed like forever. The days and weeks ahead had the song says “talking about the options…and talking about sweet time.”

That was 9 years ago.

And over these 9 years, so many in my world have heard those words and fought this fight. So many survivors, and so many others watching over us from heaven. And somewhere along this road, I learned a co-worker and friend of mine, Tim Daugherty, was going through the same thing as his wife and family dealt with her cancer diagnosis. Because Tim and I both have felt the affect of cancer so deeply, we both appreciate the amazing work of Stewart’s Caring Place.

Stewart’s is a nonprofit organization that began as a grassroots effort led by the family and friends of Dr. Stewart Surloff whose cancer journey ended in the fall of 2001. During his life, Stewart shared the struggles and triumphs of his cancer experience and taught us that "There is more to cancer than chemotherapy and surgery." Today, Stewart's carries on his legacy by providing support services, free-of-charge, to individuals and families touched by cancer. Stewart’s helps to enhance the quality of life for those living with cancer by offering services that honor choices, compliment medical treatment, and recognize body, mind and spirit, in a caring environment of healing and support. Programs and services include lectures and workshops, a resource center, healing arts, community referrals, movement classes, counseling, attorney consults, children and family programs, support groups and wigs.

Tim and I emceed the walk last year. This year, we are doing the same, and are also participating in the walk. We walk to honor my late husband Phil Cordle. We walk to honor his late wife Donna Daugherty. We walk to honor the memory of those whose cancer journey is now over, and for so many others who are bravely pushing forward and are an inspiration to all of us. And we walk to raise money for this wonderful organization that helps so many deal with this devastating disease.

We invite you to walk with us on May 14th. Or join us in spirit by sponsoring us in honor of someone you want to honor. You can do either when you click on this link.

Stewarts Caring Place Hope Walk