Happy New Year! I hope you, your families and friends had a great holiday season and are ready to take on 2022.
The Heroes Foundation was born 22 years ago, just a few months after my cancer diagnosis and a collective (family & friends) desire to turn our emotion into action. The Foundation, with the mission to provide meaningful support to cancer patients, education to promote cancer prevention, and resources to advance research for a cure, has accomplished much in those 22 years. Most who know me know that I’m never satisfied, and thus I look forward to accomplishing much more in the next 22 years.
We have all been affected by cancer in some way/shape/form, and while progress continues to be made, cancer still persists far too often. I find myself lucky and privileged to be here and to have the opportunity to do something about it. I know all too well that I have all of you to thank for that. Your support, in all its forms, is greatly appreciated.
I believe no one deserves a cancer diagnosis, no matter their lifestyle choices. And despite many ways to try to prevent cancer, it sadly and frustratingly may show up anyway. Unfortunately, this past Christmas season I received a gift that wasn’t on my list.
A second cancer diagnosis – before the age of 50 – wasn’t part of my plan. Hearing the words “you have cancer” once is bad enough. Hearing them a second time, right around the holidays, just feels cruel.
After processing my initial emotion around these words, I found myself reflecting on how this feels different than my first diagnosis 22 years ago. Sure, I’m older now… but that means I have more people around me who love, care and feel the impact of this diagnosis too. Sharing the news of my diagnosis with my three daughters was something I didn’t have to do the first time, and something none of us is ever prepared to do.
I also found myself thinking about what is similar today to my experience in 2000. I had then, and continue to have now, a tremendous group of family and friends poised and ready to join me on this field of battle once again. I’m incredibly lucky to have the support from so many people around me, including the powerful Heroes Foundation community.
I know not everyone would choose to share information of a diagnosis in this way, and that’s ok. It’s personally important to me to let you know what’s happening and I appreciate you walking this journey with me and my family.
If you find yourself asking “how can I help” or “what can I do,” the answer is simple. Just continue to support the mission of the Foundation. My family and I are ready for the fight ahead, and we are focused on coming out strong on the other side so we can get back to helping others win their battle too.
I thank you for your support.
To fighting together,