Lately we’ve been asking, “What’s your cancer story?” We all have one – and most people have multiple. I certainly consider myself amongst the majority, with more stories than I care to think about.
For the past 21 years, I’ve essentially worked a second job – adding stress and shedding blood, sweat, and tears to fulfill the mission of the Heroes Foundation. We’ve accomplished quite a bit and we have many in the Indiana community to thank for that. But a recent cancer story leaves me feeling like I took a punch to the gut.
Let me be clear, NO ONE deserves cancer. And despite various lifestyle choices we make to prevent cancer, sometimes it still presents itself where it just doesn’t belong. That’s the case with my friend, Andy.
A good-looking young man who was also pre-med and a Division I athlete, Andy and I met at Indiana University and spent four glorious years together in Bloomington, including one semester as roommates. We bonded as friends and fraternity brothers. He even used to cut my hair – yes, I used to have hair. Perhaps most important, Andy was one of the nicest people you could ever meet – and pretty much anyone who knew him would say the same.
Andy helped introduce me to the woman who would become my wife. We lived together again while he completed medical school. He was a part of our wedding party. He supported me through my own battle with cancer. We made memories that will last a lifetime and far too many to list.
To put it simply, Andy was one of the best.
Losing him to cancer, I feel defeated, deflated, depressed, and angry.
But my only option is to refocus and rededicate myself to our mission – to provide meaningful support to cancer patients, education to promote cancer prevention, and resources to advance research for a cure.
Rest in peace, my friend.
Until we meet again, I’ll be fighting – for you, for us, for all.
Vince Todd, Jr.
Chairman and Co-Founder