Saratoga Springs, UT
A mother of five children, Nancy has been touched personally by cancer--two of her sons were diagnosed approximately ten years ago. Her fourth son, Christopher, was diagnosed with a tumor in his heart at the age of one month. At the same time, he had numerous other health problems, and it was a small victory when he came home from the NICU a month later. Although the tumor in his heart eventually went away, his fight was not over. Six weeks before Christopher passed away from a brainstem tumor, Nancy’s second son, Scott, was diagnosed with lymphoma which had spread throughout his body. Having just several months to live, Scott was recommended to have a surgery for a fighting chance. Surprisingly, the surgeons found no cancer in his body and, miraculously healed, Scott now lives healthily with his wife and two daughters. Nancy has been blessed by these experiences and the love of her children.
It was my faith in God and my love for my children which helped me just keep going every day. I feel like it was the years of sick children, fighting and working to keep them going, and keeping them alive that gave me the determination to be able to keep going. And I feel like I have been very blessed to have these young men in my life because the life has been easy for me. I haven’t had to go through what they went through. I have the easier part.
Scott and I discussed that it should not be his time to go. There should be a reason for him to have been healed, to have been able to keep going forward, and there would be more in life. And there it is. He is healthy and active, and he has a wife and two little girls now.
The cardiologist told us that Christopher would just die. He said we should just take him home, and if we didn’t have a crib, just put him in a drawer and let him go, because he would pass away and that would be the best. But our neonatologist felt like he had a fighting chance because he’d made it so far. So he continued on the treatments and was able to come home finally when he was about two months old. He did grow and develop. Christopher was always behind but he always had a smile emotionally, which gave me strength. I derived a lot of strength from him to get through those debacles, and that’s the thing which keeps me moving.
It looked like they were going to be passing away at the same time, but it didn’t turn out that way. I was able to gain strength and know that this was my place. I needed to be able to help them and do the best that I could to love them, get them the medical care, and take care of them the best I could. This was to give them a fighting chance.
You’re riding, you’re pedaling, you’re pumping every single day against heat, cold, bugs, lightning, and rain pelting you – to go and make people aware of cancer. It’s the common bond we all share—we’re all brothers and sisters in humanity. We’re all here to help each other, and with each other’s help, we can fight cancer and win.
Joanne and Robert Gernon Rochester, NY