As of last week, a wonderful, beautiful friend of mine is finished with her battle with cancer. Unfortunately, it is not because the cancer is gone, but because my friend is now gone at the age of 39 after 10 years of fighting an aggressive form of breast cancer. Even before she had ever been diagnosed, she was already one of the most youthful, inspiring people you would ever come across, in a word: vivacious. And she remained this way through the entirety of her battle, even when the prospects appeared grim. She made it abundantly clear from day 1 to year 10 that while she may have had cancer, cancer did NOT have her. She and her closest inner circle of friends created a non-profit organization geared towards teaching people that living with cancer is more about living, less about cancer. Any of us who were blessed enough to know her will not remember her because she fought cancer, but because she had an exquisitely unique boundless energy, generous and caring spirit, and the broadest, brightest smile you have ever seen.
Even though she passed away too soon, I still do not see this as a defeat. She was never a victim. She may no longer be with us in body, but the impression she left behind in those of us who knew her, or even knew of her, should only compel us to use our lives to be but a fraction of the inspiration that she was and is. Because of this, I would say she’s more of a victor than I probably have ever been in my years thus far.
While it barely scratches the surface of who she was, what she was about, and what she accomplished, I have included a link to her website below. I am extremely proud to share that this incredible person was my dear friend.
In remembering her, I have personally developed a new motto, a new definition for my purpose in life:
With whatever time I have left, I want to somehow make the world a better place. And I’m going to have a heluva time doing it!
Anyone care to join me?