So many of us have been touched by those battling this disease. From meeting them in our day to day, to our own personal experiences, we continue to fight for a cure. My name is Gina Wilhelmi & I know first hand what it's like to be told you have cancer.
Such an ugly word that C-word. They say if you had to choose a cancer that Tyroid Cancer would be the one to have. No offense to my doctors, but that just wasn't a comforting thing to be told. My first reaction was quiet...lost in my head wondering how or why sitting in a cold small exam room. It didn't really hit me till I walked out the doors of my doctors office. I remember walking slowly because I felt the moment I passed that threshold those words could never be taken back. I thought, maybe someone will stop me & tell me it was all just a mix up on my chart, that there had been a mistake in my results. But that didn't happen & I continued to walk out to my car feeling like someone just hit me with a ton of bricks. How do I tell my husband? Do I keep it from my mother? How do you bring something like this up? What do I do? So many questions swirling around my mind, that I didn't even realize I was pulling into my own driveway wondering how I even made it home. I cried a little & quickly tried to pull myself together because I didn't want my roommate to know. You see, my husband & I were in the middle of transferring to our new station & I stayed behind to help train my replacement. I went into work that very next morning & told them I couldn't work my shift today. They saw me distressed & saw that I was barely holding my composure trying to fight back tears. I told them I needed to be with my husband & without skipping a beat they said "Don't worry girl, go do what you need to do". In the two hour drive from Jacksonville to Savannah I was thinking of ways to bring it up, thinking of what I was going to say, but ultimately it didn't work out that way. I pulled up to the driveway & quietly opened the front door to our new home. I could here him watching tv in the bedroom. My heart was sinking into the pit of my stomach. I took a deep breath & in that moment I opened the door. I could barely look at him. I crawled into bed & gave him a hug. I nestled my head onto his chest & he asked what was wrong, what was I doing there & with tears in my eyes I blurted "I have cancer". I could hear his breathing slow & his heart race just a little. Neither one of us could believe it. He pulls me from his chest & starred at me in disbelief. My eyes were watering, I didn't want to cry...I was trying to be strong so he could see that everything was going to be okay. He held my hands with one hand & with the other raised my chin so that my eyes would meet with his & said "We'll get through this together".
My hope by raising money is to one day make moments like these a thing of the past; for there to be a cure so that no one has to experience first hand a life changing event like this. I'm one of the lucky ones. October made two years of remission & I'm hoping for 3 more so that on that 5 year mark I can be classified as cancer free. I want to help every cancer survivor & every cancer patient reach these goals. This is my way of saying thank you to those that strive to find a cure & a way to give hope to those affected by cancer. Gift wrapping for a cause so that one day we can unwrap the cure.