Why charity? And why cancer?

There was a video call for stories on Stephen Amell’s Facebook page. It was part of the 2nd anniversary of the Fuck Cancer campaign. I apologize in advance if you were looking for the “family friendly” version of the story, but that doesn’t exist. At least not for me.

Cancer has taken a lot from me. Mostly personal, and somewhat sharp in nature. Also, it has been throughout my life. It started just after I was born. It didn’t take my mother from us, but it did take any further siblings from my sister and I. Not that I knew any better, I was a baby when it happened. I can’t imagine what it put my parents through.

In July a few years back it took my father-in-law from us. Indirectly, as he already had a heart condition, but the cancer was getting worse and no doubt weakened him. My wife is the kind of person that remembers those dates. Every July was rough for her.

aladdinAbout a year and a half ago (also in July), cancer hit home again. This time it took our dog Aladdin. I know it seems odd to include him in this list, but he was my companion and our family’s protector and mascot for fifteen years. At sixteen years old, he was older than the twelve years that breed averages. And now I’m the kind of person that remembers those dates. July 17th, 2014. The first time I had to call and ask a doctor to euthanize my dog. I didn’t make the appointment for my childhood dog.

Losing him wasn’t just a direct hit for me, but it also screwed up my writing for at least a year. I felt like I lost something more than just a friend. So I gave to gain something back. I gave food to a dog shelter. We adopted a rescue dog from that same shelter. One that really needed a specific kind of home that we could provide. No young kids, and no other pets. And time. Additionally, we gave to cancer charities. Kids cancer, research, individual families dealing with the trials of cancer. All of it.

Last Christmas, during the first Sinceriously campaign I bought the original fuck cancer shirt for the family. My wife, son and I all have one. When the second one came around I bought in again. As I have for similar charities, such as the Extra Life campaign we just went through.

What does the Fuck Cancer Campaign mean to me? It is me telling cancer I have had enough. I have several friends and yet another family member dealing with cancer. Frankly, you can’t have them. Not if my donations and those of my friends and family have anything to say about it. It may only be a shirt here and a marathon there individually, but if enough of us stand up and say “No More”, it will be a deafening roar.

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