52 People You Need To Meet

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2014 Resolution

With 2013 drawing to a close, I have been wondering what I can do to make 2014 really stand out as a year we draw attention to brain cancer. My son was diagnosed in 2010. He passed away in 2012. And here we are, almost to 2014, and virtually nothing has changed. I mean, I know that my circle of friends is hyper-aware of brain cancer now, but the world at large still isn’t. No new treatments have come along that are helping patients beat this disease. Even today, a little boy is being laid to rest from “Stage 3” brain cancer. I know all cancers are bad. I know. But it is somehow more insidious when it is in their head. When it can’t be touched by surgery or most other treatments. When you can’t see it growing, but it is killing you all the same. I can think of few things more horrible than brain cancer, and since it is the one I’m most acquainted with, it is the one I’m charged with changing. So back to my pondering… How do we make a difference in 2014?

The first thing is make a more regular effort to bring awareness. As you can tell from my posts, I don’t feel inspired to write blog posts every day. Regular posts, however, are the best way to keep brain cancer awareness as a “top of mind” topic. So I had an idea. Why not get some of my friends to help by writing guest posts? It occurred to me that in my caregiver support group, we have over 200 people, so even if they were the only ones who responded, we could fill each week with people to spare. I tossed the idea out to them and the response was overwhelming! So we are on!! Each week in 2014, we will share something with you from this writing prompt:

“What I wish I knew before my_____ was diagnosed with cancer.”

It might be their husband, daughter, best friend, or cousin. It might even be someone they never met!  We want to raise awareness for brain cancer research, but in the process, we think these stories can give families and friends the tools they need to fight together as a team. To ask the right questions. To offer the right comfort. To be on fire for a cure.

These people are all passionate about helping others and raising awareness for cancer research. There will be at least 52 different people with different perspectives who have a message for you. I’m really excited to see what 2014 will hold! I hope you will join us on this journey, and share these posts with your friends.

Today is #GivingTuesday!

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I’m a child of the 80’s, and I grew up with songs like “We Are The World”. I took that message to heart. It was written for the people starving in Africa, but it applies so well to the situation we are facing with brain cancer. Here are the lyrics:

“There comes a time when we heed a certain call
When the world must come together as one
There are people dying
And its time to lend a hand to life
The greatest gift of all

We can’t go on pretending day by day
That someone, will soon make a change
We are all a part of Gods great big family
And the truth, you know,
Love is all we need

[Chorus]
We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
Its true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me

Send them your heart so they’ll know that someone cares
And their lives will be stronger and free
As God has shown us by turning stones to bread
So we all must lend a helping hand

[Chorus]

When you’re down and out, there seems no hope at all
But if you just believe there’s no way we can fall well well well well
Let us realize that a change can only come When we stand together as one”

If you want a flashback, check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9BNoNFKCBI  I love that it starts off with fellow Alabamian, Lionel Ritchie! Then goes on to include literally the biggest stars at the time, including one of my teenage obsessions, Billy Joel. Seriously. It’s phenomenal even today. Stevie Wonder, Springsteen, Willie Nelson, Quincy Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Ray Charles… I could go on, but you get the idea.

It’s exciting to me that social media is coming together to draw attention to a worthy cause like giving back to your community. There are so many ways to give back, but the two most obvious are volunteering and donating. We would love it if you would join our fight against brain cancer, but if not our cause, please find some way to make a difference. The world CAN be a better place, but we must all live with the intention of making it so.

On our website, http://www.dragonmasterfoundation.org, we have a list of resources that help families and patients who are fighting brain cancer. They are listed by state, so you can find one near you (hopefully).  We would also love to help you plan an event in your city to raise awareness and money for brain cancer research. Or if you really want something simple, you can make a tax-deductible donation here: http://www.wichitacf.org/donate/dragon-master.php

Whether it is our foundation or some other group, we’d love to hear what you are doing for #GivingTuesday. Drop us a note here or on Facebook or Twitter.