This is a touching speech of my sister, the Vice Mayor of a city in the US about life and survival of cancer . The speech was delivered during a fund raising event for Cancer patients: Relay for Life, (American Cancer Society) . My mother died of breast cancer when she was only 45 years old while my brother died of Leukemia at 40 years old. This is for all the survivors and the families of those who have succumbed to the ravages of Cancer
Relay for Life Speech, June 29, 2013
We are here today because we all have been touched by cancer. Whether we are survivors or we have witnessed a loved one succumb to the ravages of cancer. We are here today as a community because as the saying goes, ““When someone has cancer, the whole family and everyone who loves them does, too.”
My mother died from breast cancer when I was sixteen. She was 45 years old.
My brother, Oscar, passed away after three years of struggling with leukemia in 1999. He was only 40 years old.
The beauty of cancer (if you can call it that) is that you have time to say goodbye.
What I remember most during the moments when my mother and brother realized the full impact that their lives would be ending soon was how they mourned for the things they could never experience. My mother wept as she said, ““I can never hold a grandchild in my arms.”
My brother, Oscar, mournfully said, ““What I fear most is that I will be forgotten.”
Oscar was lucky to have found a bone marrow match (our sister, Belen) and the stem cell transplant was done on Thanksgiving Day in 1998. I was there to hold his hand and tell him how much I loved him. I remember seeing the light of hope in his eyes as our sister’s stem cells flowed into his veins.
After the transplant, he said ““I know I will not live forever. Whether I die at 90 or if I die tomorrow, I am grateful for every moment, every day my life has been extended.”
He died 5 months later.
This is why we celebrate, remember, and fight back. We celebrate the healing and survivorship of those among us.
We remember and honor the memories of those who have passed on and treasure the moments we had shared with them.
But we will not sit in self-pity and despair. We, all of us here, are fighters. With American Cancer Society, we will fight back by raising funds in a fun day to help find a cure for cancer so that one day, we will be free at last from the C-word.