The sun is setting slowly in the west. As I gaze out my front window, shades of rose petal pink turn to dark lavender on the heights and valleys of the Talkeetna Mountain Range in Alaska.
The color purple has surrounded me all day – not just because it is one of my favorite colors, (people tell me I bleed purple), or that I am a Hero of Hope for the Great West Division/American Cancer Society, sharing about survivorship and how to get involved in the fight, but purple is the color for cancer survivors.
So as I watch the sun set and the purple mountain’s majesty, I watch the waning hours of World Cancer Awareness Day come to a close.
It seems everywhere we turn we know someone who is fighting this demon called cancer, dragging friends and family along. But knowing that over 400 lives per day are being saved brings solace. Knowing that because of the researchers and fund-raisers and team working that has been done over the years, I am alive.
Somehow knowing that I am a recipient of many, many people’s work from around the world, keeping me alive through 11 separate battles with this ugly disease over the last 40 years, makes my reflection looking upon the mountains even more meaningful. Some of these people, with their unmistakable creative talents, took risks – financial, social, and educational. Some may have even risked their own families and/or marriages because they BELIEVED.
Now it is OUR job to keep that BELIEF alive, supporting wherever we can, whenever we can, to whomever we can, in the way that we can. Each person will have their own way. Some people will think inside the box, some outside the box. But we cannot ignore that when we look to our left, or we look to our right, ONE of us will be the recipient of one of these person’s life passion, who BELIEVED.
Care Tuk is a nationally known speaker, educator, and retreat/workshop leader. She has been a school, hospital, and home health occupational therapist for more than 30 years. She has been named as a Top Business Woman in America and recognized for her work with youth, disability outreach and awareness, and the American Cancer Society.