What scares me about cancer as much as its destructive power is that it is such a mainstay in our culture that it has achieved buzzword status. The news, major motion pictures, conversations among family and friends are littered with the word. Publicity, however, is crucial to a movement. Especially when the movement is to treat and eradicate something as powerful as cancer. All of this that is seemingly positive worries me, however.
Thank God that in my life experience cancer has just been a terrible, terrible disease that has infected, changed, and taken more lives than is explicable. It hasn’t been close enough to be real. It hasn’t been real at all. Cancer has been this horrifying news story for me. This is what worries me. It worries me that cancer’s commonplace role in society can make it just another tolerable issue to be discussed, debated, and a catalyst for policy making.
In my opinion, the “I never thought it could happen to me” reaction when someone is diagnosed with cancer is very telling. The same is true when a loved one is diagnosed. The remote diseases that celebrities talk about and people run 5Ks to raise money for quickly becomes real! Last week, a father of a baseball player I coach from my 14 & under academy team called me. He had called me because he had some news for me and knew that I am doing Fight Gone Bad 5—to which he donated generously weeks earlier. His tone was revealing, and I was worried. His son’s best friend, Christian Pappas, has been diagnosed with a rare cancer. This was cancer becoming real for me…
A week after Christian received the catastrophic news he received the video above from Lance Armstrong. Christian is 14 years old. He is normal—very normal. He’s a fun kid. He’s a good student and loves soccer. And obviously, he’s a tougher kid than I ever was. Shoot, I’d be best friends with him if I was in his class, too. For me Fight Gone Bad 5, will be a mission to help Christian and other best friends, sons, daughters, moms, and dads like him.
Unfortunately, for many Americans whether cancer is “real” or not, isn’t up for debate—it is real. They are battling it, or someone they care for is. For Lance Armstrong cancer is real—and he has the power to fight cancer for others through his foundation and through a simple message like the one he sent to Christian.
What is beautiful about all of this is whether cancer is a real thing in your life or not, you too can influence this movement! If cancer has affected your life, giving is easy. But, if you are lucky enough to know it just from the cover of magazines at the checkout stand like me—IT IS TIME TO MAKE IT REAL!
You can donate to Log’s FGB fundraising page here. –Ed.