Let’s make "Some Day" Today. Many of us put off doing truly important things... things we want to do and know we should do but don’t do because life is hectic, we're busy and “other things” get in the way. I’m so happy our skating club provided this opportunity to its members. It's made us all stop and focus on something really important in life. It’s an honor to be a part of the SK8 to Elimin8 Cancer Fundraiser. It’s my first year and I’m so glad I have this chance to give back. I hope you will join me and help out today. Every dollar you donate will make a difference in someone's life.
I have a couple of close relatives who have battled cancer. The first one is my cousin, Mary. Mary is an adult now, but she was 12 years old (only 1 year younger than I am today) when she was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL). She was a very active teen, loved music and played both the piano and harp. Mary won her battle against cancer but some of her friends she made in pediatric cancer ward in the hospital in West Palm Beach, FL did not. She sadly lost several friends to cancer during her treatment. The great news is that after chemo at 15 years old, she was cancer free and has been ever since! Mary is now 32 years old, healthy and happily married, still playing the harp. By the way, she’s amazing on the Harp – she got a Harp Scholarship to the University of Arizona when she graduated from High School. Now, she lives in Florida with her husband Erik who plays the guitar. During the holidays we get together with my other cousin Kathy, her sister (who plays the flute), and I play the violin. So, we have a little band and rock out each year together - playing classic holiday tunes and any party songs we can think of. It’s one of my favorite yearly events! I love my cousin, Mary and I’m glad she’s a fierce fighter. And I’m so grateful she won her battle against cancer.
The other person in my family who battled cancer is one of my favorite Uncles. He was my Great Uncle Stephen (My Grandfather's brother). Unfortunately, he passed away this year of Lymphoma. My Uncle Stephen was 77 when he died. From 1965 to 1967, He was enlisted in the US Army and was a part of the Vietnam Conflict. He was a very tough and very smart man. He attended college when he returned home from Vietnam, had a few jobs in business, and at one point owned a couple of ice cream parlors. Eventually he joined Fidelity Investments in Boston (where he retired after 20 years) where he was the lead programmer on a system which managed electronic trades in the stock market. But, most importantly he was hysterically funny and loved practical jokes. He and I were best friends. He was a big man, seemed almost 6 feet tall, and always had a huge smile on his face and spoke with a heavy Boston accent. Each February, Uncle Stephen would come to stay with us for a week or two. He always came to watch me skate and he always inspired me to do my best. And each year we would surprise each other with our best pranks! He liked to cellophane a doorway or toilet seat, or a cup. I liked putting plastic bugs in his bed or musical toys inside his pillowcase. We always tried to outdo each other every year. He had the best sense of humor and was always up for fun! He was also a fierce fighter and even though he was undergoing treatment it didn’t stop him from living life, traveling, and helping family and friends until the very end. I honor him and hope this fundraiser will help someone else’s great Uncle (or other family member or friend) live a longer and happy life.