BENEFITING: ABOVE & BEYOND CANCER
EVENT DATE: Sep 21, 2014
My name is Joseph Sabroski, and I’m 23 years old.
That’s probably a not-too-significant, normal-sounding statement. Except that eleven years ago, being diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma called into question my future adult self’s ability to even say that.
Luckily, after immediately receiving four months of life-saving care at Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, MN, I was right back in remission and have been cancer-free ever since. I feel pretty fortunate to be alive today to share my story and all that it has taught me. I have learned that I can look at a challenging situation and say, “I survived cancer; I’ll survive this too (and hey, if not, it’s still worth a try).” Or something like that.
I’ve also realized that while my struggle with cancer is over, surviving the emotional and mental stress of it is still an ongoing battle. However, the fact that I can even point to my experience and view it as a source of strength is one way of coping. I think the best way to fight back, though, is to look for opportunities to help others, and turn cancer’s negativity into a massive source of positivity. I’ve done so already through various means, such as volunteering at a Ronald McDonald House, participating in Colleges Against Cancer & Relay For Life, and connecting with other survivors for support.
In fact, it was through volunteering with Colleges Against Cancer at the University of Minnesota that I found out about Above and Beyond Cancer. During my junior year, my friend and current president of the organization, Kayla Hansen, sent me a link to the Above and Beyond site, and I instantly knew it was something I would love to be a part of. It has been a few years since that moment and now I am finally able to say that I am going on one of their trips, and I couldn’t be more excited.
I see being part of Above and Beyond as another way of turning negativity into positivity, and I’m honored to go on this journey with others who feel the same.