Michelle White Eagle
Michelle White Eagle works at the medical clinic in Kamiah, Idaho. Although witnessing the effects of cancer had been a part of her daily work experience, cancer found its way into Michelle’s personal life. One year ago, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer, which required various surgeries and multiple rounds of radiation. Michelle’s desire to make a difference and help others only intensified following her mother’s diagnosis. Her optimism and determination is an inspiration to all people, whether or not cancer has directly affected their lives.
Just encouraging her, helping her to stay positive and focused, was my main role. We’ve always been really close, so I guess the biggest thing that I got out of going through all that with her is how important it is to be positive and to just stay focused and determined to do good things.
Participating in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk was a big challenge, but I kind of felt like, what kind of challenge is this that I am taking on, compared to somebody that has to deal with cancer? They don’t have a choice; they have to do it.
When working with cancer patients at the medical clinic, you’re definitely forming relationships with them. You see them all the time, so you can start to interact with them on a much deeper level. You’re sharing something very personal with them and I consider that an opportunity to be encouraging and to help spread cheer because what they are doing is hard. My job is to be the best friend to them that I can be.
Be supportive, show your love. Life’s short, and you’ve got to spend every minute that you have making the best of it. If you allow yourself to get pulled down and caught in that sea of sorrow, you’re losing time. You’re losing time on something that isn’t going to do any good.
Randy Riemer Middleton, WI
Marissa Huddleston Gladstone, OR