This past Saturday, August 19th I had the pleasure of volunteering for the Forest Lake Relay For Life event. My wife Rita and I have been Relay volunteers for 10 years since my diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer — twice! This is an event near and dear to my heart because my mother, many relatives, and friends have fought cancer battles — many have died and many more are still alive today. There’s still no cure(s) for the over 200 types of cancer. Jaelynn Parenteau (first photo) was our guest survivor speaker. She’s 17 years old and has been on a cancer journey for one year now. It breaks my heart that someone so young has to deal with cancer. She’s a super courageous survivor and I was honored to introduce her at the Survivor Celebration (second photo).
Our five teams raised $56,000 this year!
Typical me, I tried to find a survivor poem to share at the Survivor Celebration, but unable to find one, I wrote a poem instead. I’d like to share it with you and all the cancer survivors who are faced with cancer.
Cancer came at me like a monster, and I shook with anger and fear.
I didn’t know where I was headed, but I knew my death was near.
I prayed to the Heavens to heal me, and the sky sent me a beam.
I knew I’d strive to walk again, and reach my cherished dream.
But the journey was difficult, and took away my breath.
I was taught how to live, but knew nothing of fighting death.
My body was weak, my mind a mess, my spirit took a dive.
You helped me confront my fears, and made me feel alive.
I’m proud to be called a survivor, and glad the worst is gone.
Healing is a miracle, like the sunset and early dawn.
Say a prayer for those who walk this day, arm-in-arm with cancer.
Show us how to fight for life, and help us find the answer.
August 16, 2017
If you are fighting a cancer battle, please remember that you have the strength and courage to fight this monster. It’s difficult to want to keep living after all the surgeries, radiation treatments, and chemo sessions, but your desire to live is stronger than cancer. My motto is “Never Give Up” and I believe this should be every cancer survivor’s motto as well.