Yay! It’s Philanthropic Friday!
This week I have a guest writer, my friend Lisa Flemming. Lisa is participating in the 11th Annual Walk to Cure Cancer which benefits the UMass Memorial Foundation and she needs your help. I know you will find Lisa’s story moving and I hope you will find it in your heart (& wallet) to donate!
The following is Lisa’s story, in her own words.
They always ask you in those online surveys who your hero is…This is an especially tough one for me. There are really no “famous” people that I look up to. So, let me tell you about my hero.
There are just some people in your life, that come into your life for a reason, although you don’t know why until much later. I first met her in 2004, she became one of my patients. From the very first day, we became instant friends, as we had a ton of things in common. She was only 2 years younger than I. A few months later, she was feeling under the weather and came into our office. Maybe she just had a virus or something…after all, she was only 22. I will never, ever forget the day that she came in, so that we could tell her that she had cancer. I’ve seen my share of people with cancer, but never someone 22 years old, and someone I considered to be a good friend. We sent her to the oncologist, the oncologist sent her for a second opinion in Boston…and unfortunately, the opinions were the same. That she had a horrible cancer, that we didn’t even know where it started, but that it has spread sooo much throughout her body, and that there is nothing that we can do.
As I sat at my desk that day, my heart hurt, the truest of pain that I’ve ever felt, for the first time in my life. Tears just streamed and streamed down my face, it felt like forever. In this day in age, when there are medicines and treatments that are just unbelievably helpful and cure certain cancers, the last thing I wanted to hear for her, was “there is nothing that can be done.” I made sure that I called her every week, just to see how she was, and if she needed anything, and I could hear her smile over the phone. She never, ever once complained about the situation that God had given her.
The last time I saw her, was a week after her 23rd birthday. We had a hugging/crying fest, because I think we both knew that we may never see each other again. She passed away November 8th, 2005, and I will forever remember that day in my heart. I have never in my life felt so helpless, and yet, she left us with a smile of all things. But that’s just how she was.
Amanda, you are, and always will be my hero. For everything that you have done, for everyone you have touched, we all love and miss you. Thank you so much for making me take each day one at a time, as if it could be my last. To love with all I have to give, even though it seems hard sometimes. Save us a spot up there kiddo, hope you are having fun with your wings, because you truly are our angel. RIP Amanda Jackson
We all have been touched somehow by this horrible disease. Let’s help make it history! You can donate to this great cause here. You can find out more about UMass Memorial Foundation 11th Annual Walk to Cure Cancer here.