Friday, May 9, 2008

Survivors and supporters Walk for the Cure

Hooray, let's celebrate- Survivor of prostate cancer, almost 9 years. This evening I walked with other brave survivors of cancer. All types: breast, colon, lymphomas, prostate, testicular, pancreatic, brain- for just a few of those represented. I talked to a young man, 21 years of age, who had a tumor excised from his brain. He had radiation and chemotherapy at UNC Raleigh, NC. Today, he's essentially blind in one eye and has to use a walker to keep his balance, but tonight he was courageously "walking for the cure" on the same walker. He's also a sophomore in a local college. And I say without a doubt, he's inspiring.

All the survivors had the honor of leading off the fist lap around the 440 yard track at Indian Trail High School. Many care givers, friends, family, and loved ones lined the track to give us a big cheer and a non-ending applause. I was thankful for them and their support and most certainly their many prayers. It felt good to be alive. But, the battle continues.

There were a lot of folks who came for the "Walk for a Cancer Cure". The parking lots were quickly filled. So I parked several hundred yards down the highway. I saw another man pull off the main road onto the shoulder and park his car. He told me that he hoped he wouldn't get a ticket for where he was parked. He introduced himself as Kilgore from Monroe.
I responded, "Gilmore?" as if I was unsure I heard him correctly.
"No, Kilgore"
"I believe I've seen that name on some political signs around town", I said. And I asked him if he ever ran for office.
He said he had been the mayor of Monroe for the last four years. I was surprised and a little embarrassed that I didn't recognize him, or even know the name of our town's mayor. But how often do you actually see the Mayor except in big cities- on TV? How often to you care? I asked him if I could take his picture. He paused for my camera and then walked quickly to the podium where it turned out he was the guest speaker. Bob Kilgore, a sort of approachable politician- for what that's worth- but he can give a good talk on raising funds for cancer research.

And no, he didn't get a ticket.

Bob Kilgore, Mayor of Monroe, North Carolina.

Late Entry.
My Cancer is a link to the blog of Leroy Sievers, fromer ABC News reporter, who died of colon cancer on Aug 16, 2008. I first heard of Leroy's battle with cancer and the blog he kept when he was chosen on Friday, 22 Aug 2008, as "Person of the Week" by ABC News. Leroy kept his blog on the web site of National Public Radio. He was first diagnosed about 2001, had surgery to remove the cancer, but then had a relapse in Nov 2005, afterwhich time he started his popular blog. From what I read of Leroy's blog, he was right on the money and wrote about how it really is.

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