Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Call For Action

Some of you may or may not know that my sister in law, Damina (pictured), is battling cancer. On May 20th she was diagnosed with a large brain tumor that covered 70% of the left side of her brain, and the tumor had to be removed immediately. She underwent surgery on May 27th at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in LA. The surgery went well. It turned out that the second best neurosurgeon in the country was working on her! The doctors were able to remove the majority of the tumor but some had to be left behind due to how deeply it was imbedded into her brain. They are incredibly optimistic regarding her recovery, and boy, were they right.

Damina is one of the most driven, determined, goal oriented people I have ever met. She makes lists and checks off each item, no matter how difficult the task may be. This surgery was no exception to the rule. The doctors said to prepare for a surgery that would be 8 to 10 hours long, but the ever determined Damina was out of surgery and in recovery roughly 6 hours after they began. Oh, happy day! She was also released from the hospital and recovering on her own within 5 days! People of all faiths, from all over the world, were sending out powerful prayer and positive thought, and look at the affect it had! But it doesn’t stop there. The pathology report came back and the tumor ended up being cancer, stages 2 and 3. They have a planned course of radiation, chemo, and tumor therapy lined up for her, and the doctors are again optimistic with regard to the outcome. Not only is she determined to beat cancer, she has age on her side as well. Being a young 26 year old woman who takes excellent care of herself, the prognosis for recovery is good.

This is where you come in. I’m about to participate in my very first Relay For Life event. It is an excellent opportunity to pay tribute to the people in our lives that have had to battle cancer. Relay For Life raises a lot of money so the American Cancer Society can help people who have been affected by cancer in one way or another. It also raises money to fund research to cure this mysterious disease.

Our monetary goal for this event is $1000, and we really need your help to meet this challenge. But our challenge is nothing in comparison to the challenge that so many children and adults have to face 24 hours a day once diagnosed with cancer. I feel blessed to be part of such an important cause. This year, Team Longview Fibre #8 is dedicated not only to my sister, Damina, but also in honor of, or in memory of all cancer survivors and victims. Please help support my efforts for Team Longview Fibre #8 this year with a tax-deductible contribution to the American Cancer Society. You may send your check directly to me, or go online to the team captain’s webpage:

Please check out the Relay For Life walk on Saturday, August 8th thru 9th 2009 starting at 10am at the Cowlitz County Fairgrounds. Let us know if you are a cancer survivor and would like to be honored in the opening ceremony survivor lap at 9am and we’ll make that happen. I also urge you not to miss the luminaria ceremony on Saturday the 8th at 9 p.m., which is the candle lighting ceremony of hope and surely the most emotional and heartwarming part of the event which includes inspirational songs, poems and prayer. If you would like to dedicate a luminaria to be placed around the track in honor of or in memory of a family member or friend, please fill out the enclosed form and send it to me along with your donation. Luminaria may also be purchased at the Relay. Damina has amazing courage and strength in her battle with cancer and it gives me hope and inspiration to help reduce the suffering and loss caused by this horrific disease. Together, we can make a difference! Remember…There’s no finish line until we find a cure.

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