September 26, 2016
The first time I heard the word Cancer, was when I was about 7 or 8 and my Dad explained to me that (my Grandpa that I never met) his father died at the age of 42 from what was diagnosed at the time as stomach Cancer. THey really didn't know what it was. It was confusing to a young kid and I really didn't know what it meant for a life to be cut so short.
I am now 37 years young, not far from 42 and everyday there is a moment I think about how Cancer has effected my life and the lives of my family. My Grandma passed away from Cancer at the age of 66. That's not very old. Everyone deals with loss differently but about 7 years ago my personal battle had just begun. You see my friend and housemate Adam Noble (you may know him) was freakishly diagnosed with the rarest forms of Cancer. So my 30th birthday was a last hurrah of sorts as he headed that next week into an uncertain battle that he is still waging today. Luckily, after operation and treatment, minus some sinuses the old boy is still around.
Then came my brother in law -Travis Wallace, a humble, driven, family man that made my sister's eye sparkle. He was better than me in almost every way (except maybe Handstands). I can say that to a fact. He had miraculously survived two battles with Leukemia and had been given the gift of Cancer free health for 7 years before asking to marry my sister. He designed a special gown while in the hospital for patients so that they would be more comfortable. He was an entrepreneur. He ran marathons and raised money for Cancer. After that, they decided to have a baby, however, because of all the treatments for Cancer, Travis was sterile so they had to do invitro (he froze his swimmers) and a lengthly and costly process began over two years. Then finally, Amy was pregnant!
Travis was the best husband throughout the pregnancy, he was there every step of the way and when it was time, he stayed in the hospital with my sister until delivery time. No sleep and continued to work as well. Baby McKenna arrived!
Two weeks later, Travis felt off. tired from the baby?, work?…a return to the doctor said that his worst nightmare had occurred.
Leukemia had returned. STRONGER. So he helped raise his baby girl and went back to fight the battle of his life with Leukemia a third time. The family rallied we all did. We fought with him.
Travis would go in for treatment and then come home and remain hopeful and thankful. Things got worse, the treatments got more intense and he literally ran out of options. I like to think that Cancer didn't get Travis that the drugs they gave him killed the Cancer -but he couldn't recover. Travis passed away on August 21st, 2008. He was 32 years old. I made a promise to myself that day that I would help somehow. So if these types of tragedies could ever be avoided they should.
I have a reminder on my shoulder everyday. Carpe Diem. "Seize The Day." Travis's I beat Cancer tattoo after his second battle with Leukemia. I asked him before he left us if I could honor him and he smiled at me.
That was four years ago. Since then we have raised over $170,000 dollars through DT for Cancer related charities. Its not enough until there is a cure.
So I don't like telling sob stories for anything other than provoking change. If he was here he would be training and raising money with us. So sign up. Do something and be present in this community and family of people. Today is what we have.
Since then my sister decided to have Jackson Rey Wallace (Travis son) and to date we have raised 750,000 dollars. We are changing the way Cancer is being treated every year. please donate today.