Monday, October 25, 2010

Show your colors

We had our first Passionately Pink for the Cure fundraiser at CLHS in October 2006 when Valerie Loper’s best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer, and later that year, I began my own battle against melanoma. We partnered with Lake against Cancer Club, and since 2006, our students and faculty have raised thousands of dollars for breast cancer research. Students convinced us to turn PPC into a week-long cancer awareness program. Adding support colors raised awareness, and definitely made our world a more colorful place. Clear Lake High School has been able to give money to both the Komen foundation and the American Cancer Society.

My family fight against cancer has been going on as long as I can remember. When I was born, I imagine that my grandfather was already showing signs of the lung cancer that would take his life when I was 2. I remember in elementary school participating in a program called “Send a mouse to college.” We collected money to send to universities to purchase mice for laboratory research. Despite these efforts, my grandmother got breast cancer. In the 1970’s, breast cancer was almost always a death sentence, but I remember my grandmother as a fighter who continued to live life to the fullest despite knowing that she might not win the fight. In one of our last conversations, she told me that she knew as she worked with her doctors that they were learning things that would help others. It was her dream and it’s mine; that one day cancer will go the way of the black and white television and the rotary phone. One day, my children or my grandchildren will get to hear a child ask them if they remember when people used to die from cancer and cancer will be a distant memory.

Thanks for being part of the solution!

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