Sunday, October 10, 2010

Beating the Odds

   October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like so many women in so many families, my family of origin has not emerged unscathed by this disease. But unlike many others, I am so thankful that all of the women in my family who have had breast or ovarian cancer are alive and kicking and not just kicking, they are kicking back. By kicking back, I mean that all of the affected members of my family have entered a gene study through the National Institutes of Health with the hope of making a difference. It may not have made the difference for my sister or my aunts but it could make a difference for my daughter or my granddaughter or for my nieces or for some unrelated woman and her daughter or granddaughter.  My sister and mother and my father's sisters (all three of them) have each contributed a blood sample, allowed their medical records to be examined, and have told the story of our family to research scientists who are looking for the culprit gene (that's what I call that ole booger, the culprit) that links the women in my family together in this unholy alliance. Pray with me that they will soon find and identify this culprit, this rogue, who seeks to rob and steal from those we love.
      It is difficult for me to grapple with the notion of a faulty gene, especially when I believe with my whole heart that each of us "is fearfully and wonderfully made," and we were knit together in our mothers' wombs by a marvelous and glorious Creator who has loved us from the beginning. Yet despite the magnificence of God's original design, we cannot escape the fact that we live in a fallen world. This is a place where people of all ages contract diseases like breast cancer and where some of them die, including one of my dearest friends in this life and in the life to come: Peggy Maddux Southard.
   So today I salute the fighters. I salute Cindy, Monica, Harriet, and Deborah who have fought the good fight and are still fighting. I also salute those who fought and did not go easy into that good night. I salute the women who struggled against this disease with all of their might. Each was someone's daughter, someone's sister, someone's mother, someone's friend. We remember their names, the sound of their voices, the tilt of their head, their precious smile, or the touch of their hand. We will not forget. And we will stand with women everywhere until the tide of the battle is turned...and more and more and more and more and more women are living rather than dying with breast cancer.

1 comment :

  1. Thank you, Kathy, for making a few more people aware of the need to FIGHT! I love you, Deb


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