I’ll never forget sitting down with my family for the news. A family friend was diagnosed with breast cancer and although there were reasons to be optimistic she had a battle ahead. So much runs through your mind. Is this real? Why is this happening and can it be stopped? How can I help? The answers to these questions didn’t bring much comfort. Cancer is very real and affects millions of lives; I certainly wasn’t the only one who received such news that day. Many of the causes or means of prevention are yet to be discovered, let alone viable cures that don’t require invasive surgery or harmful drugs. There wasn’t much more I could do other than offer my love and friendship, but this never felt like enough and it didn’t do anything to answer the bigger questions about cures and prevention.
On May 30th, 2015 I will step into the ring to participate in the Fight to End Cancer to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation whose research seeks to answer the unanswered. I will spend months training and preparing in the face of self-doubt, fear, and physical pain: the only thing I’ve punched is the air at a hockey game, why am I putting myself in harm’s way? This is personal; will I be able to communicate why I am doing this so that people support me? Will I have the heart to finish that last push up, sit up, or jab when my muscles beg to stop?
I believe this experience will allow me to share on a much smaller scale what my friend went through. I will face something that intends to beat me and whose will is outside of my control. I will have to persist despite the pain and fear. However, I am (fairly) confidant, whether my arm is raised in victory or not, I will walk away from this when the final bell goes, perhaps with some bruises and aches, but with my life. Sadly, as was the case with my friend, not all cancer fighters can walk away. For many people still in the ring, the stakes are infinitely greater. This is not a fight that will be won by anyone alone. As a community we must do our part and support organizations like the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. You can get in the ring with me by donating to my campaign to support the PMCF and its mission to help those who are or who may one day be faced with cancer!