"For we will never have our freedom,
From the enemy within,
Till we fight a constant battle
And not stop until we win.
For all those who've gone before us,
Left too soon, we share the pain,
But you will live on in our memories,
And your legacies remain.
You're a stalker, you're a coward,
You're a robber and a thief,
And I swear your day is coming,
And it's a fact.........not just belief."
I'm writing this post as part of a Bloggers Unite, March 15th, 'Do The Right Thing' initiative by Tony Berkman. Both my blogs will feature stories about cancer victims and survivors. These are some of the bravest people you'll meet. They have to face down their demons and fight. The most inspirational blog I have ever read was by Australian cancer sufferer Kristian Anderson:- "There is a crack in everything- That's how the light get's in". Kristian sadly lost his battle with cancer recently, but he bravely detailed every inch of his journey in his blog. He gained a profile when he appeared on Oprah Winfrey's Sydney show, and she donated $250K for his treatment and his family's future. He used his public profile to get a Government subsidy for Erbitux (an expensive drug he was using). This resulted in thousands of people across the country benefiting. We salute you Kristian.
Sarah Mamalai, whom I have featured before, is a brain cancer survivor, who completed the gruelling Kokoda Trail walk and has been a spokesperson for her cause. Sharon Cohrs. a breast cancer survivor, became the first such woman to climb Mt. Everest. We salute you both. These are stories that should inspire us all. But there is probably not one person whose life has not been changed by cancer. If we haven't had to deal with it personally, then we've known a family member, a close friend or someone from our local community, who has. Not everyone gets a second chance. We need to remember them and remember the efforts of countless medical researchers as they test and implement their ground-breaking treatments.
I have been touched by the loss of two close friends in the last couple of years. Their lives cut, so unnecessarily short, by this awful disease. I want to remember them and the joy they brought to my own life. Nick Purdy, who was both a colleague and a close friend, lost his long battle with prostate cancer. His warm personal presence and good-natured approach to life..... you are missed mate. Many a social get-together that we should have been having, won't take place. Those cigars we used to smoke. Those "have you heard this week's bizarre story?" moments. Also my good friend and visionary architect Dragan Nikolovski, who was taken by brain cancer. Your hearty laugh. Your supportive nature. Originally from Macedonia, you are part of the migrant success story and your name with many others is proudly upon a public wall in Sydney. You live on, of course, through your works. Your contribution to the re-development of our General Post Office, into a leading hotel. Your work with our historic Queen Victoria Building, where you were the official architect. Any visitor to Sydney knows this building, which is a major city shopping venue.
So let us remember everyone we know who is currently fighting cancer, or is no longer with us. Read my poem at the top out loud. By supporting cancer research and treatment, we can make this a reality. This 'day' when we can say :- "cancer is no more". But in the meantime live sensibly. Sometimes cancer will just strike like a thief in the night, but sometimes our habits and lifestyle can play a part. You owe it to your family. Now just read the poem one more time. It's simple evocative message will lie inside you from now on.
P.S. Please feel free to leave your own story about cancer as a comment and to celebrate others.