This year, I had the opportunity to participate in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Cancer Real Men Wear Pink Campaign to raise awareness about breast cancer. I was given a personal goal of raising $2500 as part of a team of local guys trying to raise $30,000. In doing so, I met so many survivors of breast cancer. I also met people who have lost loved ones to it. I met a woman who lost her husband to breast cancer. It was a startling realization of just one more killer we have to worry about. I reached my goal at the 11th hour. When it seemed I would fall short, my Mom came through with a mega donation.
Today, I sit with Mom at the chemo infusion wing of the local hospital. She has battled brain tumors since I was 7. I remember being called into the office and having the principals ask me how I was doing. It wasn’t until that moment that I started to worry. My nurse Mom and my cop Dad had told me all along not to worry. Now these relative strangers knew about it! She beat those brain tumors. Every time they come back, she beat them. My Mom beat ANOTHER kind of cancer earlier this year. She beat it. The doctor told her she was cancer free. And now we’re back. With a new cancer. We’re not here for breast cancer but I wore my breast cancer hat anyways. I see so many people here fighting their battles with their heads held high. I see people struggling but still showing up to fight. Every single one smiles. I think the biggest thing I’m taking away from this is to keep smiling. Smile no matter what battle you’re fighting. Even on your darkest days, keep smiling.
And I encourage you to reach out to the American Cancer Society. Become a REAL MAN and join the Real Men Wear Pink campaign. You’ll make new friends. You’ll help change lives. You’ll gain a new perspective on life. We cops try to make a difference every day. I know the money I raised is helping people today, and tomorrow and beyond, fight their own battles.
Moms going to be ok. She’s fought bigger battles than this. She handles chemo like a champ and she has a hell of a team behind her. But if you’re a praying man or woman, we’d appreciate every boost we can get.
Feel free to message or comment about an off-duty battle YOU might be fighting. No cop fights alone.