I will donate each and every dollar generated from this article to charity. That is determined by the number of views that this article receives. So help get this article as many views as possible. On digg, yahoo, reddit, e-mail it, tweet it. Do whatever you can, every view will help. All proceeds will go to one of the charities listed below for cancer research. Thanks for your help.
A few days ago I learned that someone very important to me’s mother was not in good shape. She has been fighting cancer for many years now. Fighting the fight that unfortunately many of us have seen, either first or second hand. This article is dedicated to her. Please send your thoughts, prayers, positive energy or whatever you personally believe her way.
Cancer is defined as any group of cells that display uncontrolled growth. Nearly all cancers are caused by abnormalities in the genetic code that create the cells in our body. These abnormalities could be caused by pollutants, chemicals, sunshine, hormones, microbes, or just random bad luck. There are many ways to damage the fragile DNA that lives inside almost all of the cells in our bodies.
Cancer does not just harm humans. I grew up in Monterey, CA, a place famous for its majestic pine trees standing like sentries looking over the ocean. Every year for Christmas we would go to a Christmas Tree farm. It was a magical place, filled the the smell of pine trees and grass. It was basically just a huge park filled with pines. (I can see the horror coming over most of your faces. These were the days before the popularization of those cheesy plastic trees, and I assure you that for every tree cut down, there was a tree planted in it’s place). Even as a child I could appreciate the reforesting of the park because every year I would come back, and every year I was amazed that we would cut down a tree for Christmas, like many other families, and every year there seemed to be even more trees than the year before.
That is however, until Monterey pines started getting pine pitch canker. A type of tree cancer caused by fungus infection. I will always remember the year that we went to the Christmas tree farm, and hardly any trees stood where there was always a majestic forest of pines. There was a kindly old man who owned the park, whom we would talk to every year. I will always remember the disappointment on his face when he described that his once lush park had been devastated by pitch canker. I think this moment made me question how things work. It was one of the seeds that grew my interest in science. That forest spare and depleted really meant something more. For everything that happens in life good or bad, they always leave a legacy.
Yet, for most of us we aren’t dealing with pine trees. We watch helplessly as our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters fight against their own biology. As a medical student, I know how notoriously difficult most cancers are to treat. It is our own body’s cells betraying us. To fight cancer we have to destroy our bodies. Usually with doses of chemicals or radiation which will kill rapidly dividing cancer cells just a little bit more quickly than our non-cancer cells.
Cancer has touched us all in one way or another. Some more than others. I urge you all to watch The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, or read the book. It is an inspirational tale that will leave you in tears, but really highlights what is important in this short journey on earth that we call life. I am better off for having watched it, and I think you will be too.
Since cancer has touched us all in one way or another, I urge you all to join me in fighting cancer. Do it through whatever means you have. If you have money please donate to some of the reputable charities I have listed below.
Again, I will donate each and every dollar generated from this article to charity. That is determined by the number of views that this article receives. So help get this article as many views as possible. On digg, yahoo, reddit, e-mail it, tweet it. Do whatever you can. Every cent will go to one of the charities listed below.
If you don’t feel like you can donate in these rough times, get a ribbon, or simply spread this article to your friends. Do whatever is within your means. Often times I know we feel helpless, like we can’t make a difference, but what we do in life leaves a legacy that can last forever in ways we never could imagine.
This is for the ones we have lost and loved and the ones we love who continue to fight. They all touch us in how they live, and we shall honor them in keeping their love within us.
-Image Credit: thecookiecuttershop.com