Sunday, June 7, 2009

National Cancer Survivor's Day

sur⋅vi⋅vor (ser-vahy-ver)

1. a person or thing that survives
2. a person who continue to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.

Today, Sunday, June 7th is National Cancer Survivor's Day....a day when we celebrate LIFE. It's a day when we can unite and show the world that there is life after a cancer diagnosis.
I didn't ever plan on hearing the words, "You have cancer." And, I never planned on hearing that phrase a few more times after that point. It just goes to show that you never know at any minute how your life may change. I consider myself one of the lucky ones that knows how good it is to wake up each day and how important it is to live in the moment, all the time.

This day is a celebration of all of those in the Cancer "C" Club --- the club nobody wants to join (but, we sure try to have some fun as we kick cancer to the curb). Very often, those of us in this club hear things like, "I could never do what you did" or "You're a hero for getting through that trial." All sentiments which I think we all appreciate, but we all know we don't get through our battles alone. It takes a team.

I also know that none of us were given a choice. We did (and do) what we have to in order to survive, something which takes tremendous courage. I've heard that a great definition for the word courage is: "being afraid, but doing it anyways."

I am proud of my survivor friends, whether they faced cancer as a kid or as an adult. It seems strange that I can look through my photo album, and find pictures where the one thing everyone has in common is --- CANCER. Wow...never thought I'd see that in my lifetime.

Here's the deal. Yes, it's National Cancer Survivor's Day today -- BUT --- as as survivor I celebrate every, single day that I'm fortunate enough to be on my path. I don't need a special day to remind me how blessed I am to be alive and how tremendously grateful I am to my family, friends, teammates and medical teams.
I give much love and solidarity to my cancer-surviving, "C" Club friends! I'm not sure what we should say to one another this weekend, as I doubt Hallmark has a "Happy Cancer Survivor's Day" card (gag).

How about this?...

(Please, pass on this blog link to a cancer survivor in your life, if you'd like to remind them how freakishly AWESOME they are to be cancer warriors!)
If you'd like to support the fight against cancer, you can help by donating to my fundraising efforts for the Lance Armstrong Foundation ( or Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (
Pic #1: Julie & John Zeidner at the Boston Marathon w/ shirts honoring cancer survivors/warriors
Pic #2: Julie & Colin, both cancer survivors with their running Coach (middle) after crossing the Boston Marathon finish line
Pic #3: Team LIVESTRONG offers support to cancer survivors
Pic #4: Julie and Ty Wakefield (Captain Cure) at the LIVESTRONG Summit
Pic #5: Fellow cancer survivors and caregivers at the LIVESTRONG Summit.


  1. The quote you paraphrased is:

    "Courage is being scared to death & saddling up anyway" --John Wayne

    and related to the "Hallmark Card" comment you made,

    I no longer refer to myself as 'a cancer survivor'. The past is only important in how it influences what you will do in the future.

    This is all too much for any individual to spend much time talking about themselves or what they have done. I want to see what people are going to do next, and just talking will not be adequate.


  2. I enjoyed your post. I didn't know that the 7th was National Cancer Survivor Day. As you said, living each day of the year is celebration enough. It was cool that I was giving a mission moment yesterday to the Virginia TNT cycle team nearly 400 miles from home.


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