I recognize World Cancer Day in honor of my godmother, one of my closest friends, as well as many survivors I am fortunate to have in my life.
I was relatively young when my godmother was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer – I knew the word “Cancer” was scary, but I would not truly understand the impact of it until I watched the effect it had on my family. Sadly, surrounded by her family, my godmother passed away 13-years ago. To this day, I will never forget the way she communicated with me through the look in her eyes when she could no longer talk due to her painful mouth sores.
When I was older, at the age of 18, my close friend collapsed at the breakfast table. Upon numerous tests, a mass was found pressing upon his lung and heart. He underwent 2 surgeries to extract the growth which was later tested to be malignant. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment and entered remission. Sadly, his lungs had become weakened and strained. He often battled lung infections, one of which he sadly surrendered to on 2nd September 2012.
Ironically, I began my journey at PAREXEL on the 1st September 2014 as an Early Product Development Project Specialist, a day short of the 2nd anniversary of my friend’s passing, and shortly after, was assigned to an oncology study – coincidently, the same indication of which my friend was diagnosed.
Over the years, I have participated in overnight relays to raise awareness and funds to assist those less fortunate who are affected by the disease. A candlelight ceremony is held for those who lost their lives, those fighting, and those who are survivors. Once a year, a “high heel walk” is held within my community. Ladies come together in all shades of pink to walk 2, 5 or 10 km distances in high heels to fight against breast cancer. Awareness and funds are raised and distributed to local charities and families who may not have the access to adequate treatment or health care.
The suffering my godmother & friend, their families and friends endured is something I wish no others will ever have to experience; Cancer has taken too much, too many and for too long. Once, I was asked what the best part of my job is. The greatest reward is knowing that working within this field, I am involved in providing patients and their families with hope and a potential glimpse of a cure.
World Cancer Day