A Hero in my life, Donna Anderson!
My friend, Donna, is my hero. We have been friends for over 30 years. She spent the better part of 10 years being a Caregiver to two cancer patients. Her father was diagnosed with esophagus cancer and fought a hard battle for 5 years. She was there every step of the way with him, through the good, bad & ugly.
Almost a year to the day of his passing, her husband was diagnosed with liver cancer. He was given only months but he never gave up and lived over 4 ½ years. They enjoyed every moment of those extra 4 years, even though she worked full-time, doing things that a lot of people only dream of cause they knew there was no guarantee for tomorrow.
She has been a volunteer for Relay For Life for 23 years, many of those years as the event chair. I remember when she asked me to join the committee, I was hesitant, it was her passion to make a difference that made me say yes. Even though she worked full-time, was a caregiver full-time she still devoted every spare moment to Relay and making a difference.
It’s been almost 2 years since she lost her husband but her compassion in the fight against cancer continues even stronger, earlier this year she lost the one thing that had stayed constant throughout these caregiver journeys, her best friend, her Yorkie Terrier, Bud, who died from a cancer tumor on his spine.
I know it hasn’t been easy for her, nor always fun but she is always the first one to offer words of encouragement, a shoulder to cry on, tell you the latest resources available to patients or a funny story to make the day a little brighter. That is why she is my hero!
**I too have been a caregiver for family members fighting cancer. I have also been involved with Relay For Life for 18 years. I am not only a team captain I have been on the steering committee since 2005 and am currently on the GW Division Awards & Recognition Task Force.
The first time I heard the words cancer was in 1976 when my Grandma was diagnosed and 7 days later she was gone. A lot of progress has been made since then but I would like for no one to ever have to hear the words “you have cancer”!!
By Terry Moore.
If you know a hero and would like to show them recognition please send us their story. Include a brief autobiography of the writer please, so the readers know where it is coming from. They do not have to have had cancer just did something heroic in the battle against it.