A few of my friends reached out to me last week asking if I would be interested in walking in the Light the Night walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society this Friday night. Of course, my first reaction was no. I’m not strong enough to do this yet. But I thought about it a while before I responded. I allowed myself to experience my full reaction before making a decision.
Obviously, the first concern is that it will just be too hard. It hasn’t even been 6 months since my father passed. How could I possibly keep it together during this walk? There’s even a survivors parade. That would ruin me. The second thought is that I can’t participate in this because I’m still angry. Why should I want to donate and raise money for an organization when modern medicine failed to save my father?
But all that is purely selfish. It’s centered around my comfort. It sucks that he wasn’t saved from the horrendous affliction that is blood cancer, and that’s not fair. But it’s also not fair to all the other people who weren’t saved either. It’s easy to forget about other people when you’re not surrounded by them, but when I imagine the pain and suffering he felt, and the pain and grief his illness and death has caused our family, I am reminded that there are so many others just like us.
Instead of holding on to feelings of anger (which is easier said than done, I know), I should focus my energy into positivity—into supporting those who have survived, and raising awareness and funding to an organization that is fighting to turn each patient into a survivor.
I’ve already raised 31% of my personal donation goal thanks to a few incredible people. On Friday night I’ll have the support of a handful of family and friends, and hundreds of people who I don’t know, but am already deeply connected to. If you feel up to it, come join us at the walk. It's free. And if you're feeling charitable, donate a little. We all appreciate it.