[photo of my mom Melodee and my aunt Judie]
I have heard that phrase time and time again and I know it to be true, at least in my life and the many lives around me. The cancer I am speaking of is breast cancer, and it has affected our family in every possible way. I lost my mother Melodee to breast cancer in 1986 when I was 11 years old. She was just one month past the age of 39 when breast cancer ultimately took her life after a five year battle. My mom was just one of several women in our family who have been affected by breast cancer–my aunt Judie (my mom’s sister) passing in 2001–and their mother Jenny, my grandmother, passing before both of them in the early 80’s. In fact, Jenny lost both her mother and mother-in-law to breast cancer as well…an entire generation of women wiped out from the disease.
It is a disease that affects millions of lives and October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I have spent a good number of years of my life in and of hospitals with the people I have loved as they fought through chemotherapy and radiation treatments, mastectomys, and many, many more things. Sometimes I have felt helpless in the fight, and most of the time I think I was except for the prayers and presence that I and others could offer them.
But this year I have decided to get more involved in the fight for breast cancer and my wife Heather and I are running the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Dallas and raising money to bring awareness and education, as well as support the research and treatment in the fight against breast cancer. My wife and I have formed the team The Shaderunners (in honor of all the Shade women who battled against breast cancer), and we hope that you check our team page out.
How Can You Help
- Join our team. You don’t even have to run. But join in support.
- Prayers. For the many people and families affected by cancer and for our team as we train, raise money and run the race.
- Donate money. We hope that we can get a bunch of you to donate even a little to the cause….$20 perhaps. You can donate to me, or you can donate to Heather…whatever you do it all goes to the team. I will also continue running after The Race for the Cure, and will continue raising money as I run the Dallas White Rock Marathon.
- Donate your talents/gifts. What do I mean? Michael Trent of Third Place Consulting was so moved by the story of breast cancer in our family that he sent me an email offering this: He states:
“Any church (or person I guess) that donates $1000 or more, I will donate Two Days of Free On-Site Consultation for either an: a) Initial Consult – for new projects (vision and ministry alignment / concept development), b) Or Café Rehab – for existing café environments (a full evaluation, review, and recommendation on site).”
Amazing, I was totally blown away by that. Michael told me that he wish he had tons of money to donate, but since he didn’t, he felt like offering his services was the right thing to do. Michael is a super talented guy and I’m very thankful for his friendship. You can contact Michael here about the details of his offer (i.e. the person would need to cover travel expenses, but his services are free).
As we progress through the month of October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I plan on bringing you updates about our team and training, as well as personal stories and interviews with those who have been affected by breast cancer. If you have a story to share, please contact me via this blog so that we can set up an interview, or place for you to share your story online.