In 1988, my grandmother was diagnosed with uterine cancer. At thirteen years old, I had no understanding of what cancer was, how you got it and if you could treat it. All I knew was that it seemed extremely painful. After failed treatment options, my vibrant, English grandmother couldn’t open her eyes or speak as the disease completely took over. I didn’t know it at the time, but cancer was something that was going to affect my life over and over again.
My mother was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer in 2001, and after false hope and several treatment options, she also spent her last days in extreme pain, and passed away less than six months after diagnosis.
My father called me in 2009 to let me know he had been diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer, and according to his Oncologist, the chances of surviving it would be slim. Having lost one brother to the disease, and having another who beat it (twice), he told his Oncologist that he would do anything to live. My father had just retired to his dream home on the lake, was remarried, and now had three grandchildren. There was no way he wasn’t going down without a fight. Lucky for him, his Oncologist was a strong proponent of lifestyle changes that help suppress cancer cell growth. My father changed his eating and lifestyle habits and studied every publication to educate himself on how he could beat the odds.
Thanks to his lifestyle changes and experimental hormone therapy, my father’s cancer has been in remission for six years. We all look forward to his three month checkup emails always titled “still cancer free!”
When Melissa Wilson called for volunteers to deliver care supplies to cancer patients, I couldn’t wait to help. The CareBOX Program provides a much needed service to those in need, and with every delivery, I’m reminded of friends, families and strangers who helped my family when cancer struck.
We all feel good when writing a check to a charity, but it feels better to donate your time to those in need.
Tim, Volunteer CareDRIVER