Shoots for a Cure: A Cause Close to my Heart
I am honored to be a verified photographer for Shoots for a Cure (see under California - San Jose). Here's why I donate my time for this cause:
In the winter of 2010 my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He was relatively young for his age (under 50 at the time) to have this diagnosis. It tends to affect men after age 65. It is a cancer that 1 in 6 men will get. When my husband and I received his diagnosis we were sitting in his doctor's office for a good 15 minutes before the doctor came in. It was a cold winter day in the middle of January. When the doctor delivered the diagnosis, neither of us was quite prepared for the news. "The biopsy came out positive, you have cancer."
Before that, in 2009, my cousin Cindy succumbed to breast cancer after a long battle. She survived for nearly 5 years before it took her from us. She had already been through a lot after the death of her husband when he was only 40. She raised two young boys on her own. When she was going through treatments she met a new man who was aware of her condition. And yet he loved and stood by her her through thick and thin until she breathed her last breath.
As if this wasn't enough, last year in 2011 my oldest brother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic cancer is often called the silent killer because there are basically no symptoms at the early stages. My brother was a world renown neuro-geneticist, top in his field. He traveled often to meet with patients from all over the world and he presented at various international conferences. When he started having back pains in April of 2011 he chalked it up to all of the plane travel and an old recurring herniated disk. But the pain became unbearable and he finally made an appointment to get an MRI. Believing at that time that the scan would show a bulging disk, my brother and his wife were shocked when they discovered it wasn't a herniated disk. It turned out he had several tumors that were pressing against his spine. By that time his cancer was already stage IV and spreading rapidly. He died only 4 short months later. Today pancreatic cancer is one of the least curable of all forms of cancer. We need to change that.
So you can see why cancer is a cause that is incredible close to my heart. It has affected far too many people in my family. I'm relieved to say that today my husband is cancer free. We are coming up on his 3 year cancer-free anniversary. Each and every day we are grateful for his outcome. Since ever since this experience I no longer think in terms of 1 year, 5 years or even 10 years. I think in the moment. We savor every moment we have with our kids and with each other. For ultimately this is all that really matters.
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