Sarah S-Jo Ritchie
Cancer really sucks. That is one of the biggest understatements ever. Unfortunately, the words I would like to use to describe just exactly what cancer is, probably would not be publishable on this website. The thing about cancer is, it doesn't just affect the body of the person who has it... it affects every facet of their life and those lives of their family and friends as well. It doesn't judge, it doesn't discriminate and most of all, it does not play fair. Cancer is a taker. It takes and it takes and almost never seems to give anything good back. It took two of my favorite people in the world - my grandparents- from me. It took my biological mom and any chance I'd ever have of meeting her from me. It's taken countless other friends and family members. The fight and ensuing treatments take away energy. It tries to take away the determination and the perseverance of those battling this horrible disease. It tries to take away the hope of all those who love someone battling cance... that's just what it does.
To counteract act the way cancer takes, I'm doing what I know how to do best. Give. Back on November 11th, 2016, cancer hit my family again. My absolutely amazing friend Mary was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroendocrine Carcinoma. Her road since has been far from easy, but even with every stumbling block thrown in her way, she's come out with her head held high and her amazing smile on her face. She has become a constant source of inspiration for me and keeps me fighting and for that, I'm beyond grateful. Fighting cancer isn't all smiles and inspirational fights though. It's a lot of anger, crying, questioning... both on the part of the one with cancer and those that love them.
As much as I wish, I would give anything to somehow blink my eyes and take away Mary's fight, get rid of that cancer and make everything OK again, but I know I can't. So I try to do everything else that I can. Give support, provide a much needed laugh or smile and as unwise as this may be... take on a Rugged Maniac. Now anyone reading this knows me and is probably going WTF. Yes I know. Me + Rugged Maniac = Potential Disaster, but hear me out (plus my parents said I could lol). The Rugged Maniac is having a special heat that benefits the American Cancer Society (ACS). The American Cancer Society works to fund and conduct research for new cancer treatments and cures as well as providing support for patients diagnosed with cancer. Mary's husband Paul started this team and along with his daughter Caitlin and a few other friends ("Mary's Mixed Bag of Nuts"), we will be running this 5K for Mary. Well, they will be running... I'll be walking. It's not the time I finish this 5K that matters, but the meaning and dedication I have for doing it. I may be the slowest nut in the bag, but this nut is dedicating every step of that 5K to providing hope, support and love to Mary and all of those fighting this horrible disease and in memory of those that fought their best fight but are no longer with us.
Please consider joining me and the rest of Mary's nuts in the fight against cancer and make a donation to our team to support the American Cancer Society's mission and to show your support to Mary and all those fighting the fight every day. No donation is too small, every little bit helps. Love and prayers are also appreciated. On behalf of Paul, Mary, Caitlin and the rest of Mary's Mixed Bag of Nuts, thank you to all those who have already donated and thank you to those considering a donation, it means a ton.
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