I have a friend battling stage 4 cancer. We met when we were five. People teased him in first grade. He was still my friend. People teased me in middle school, and he was still my friend. By high school, we competed academically in just about everything. He is fiercely intelligent, and for twelve years, he was one of my closest friends.
When I got the news he had stage 4 cancer, I cried. Life doesn’t turn out the way we plan. He reached out, “What can I do with my nutrition?” So I gave him the best resources available.
He isn’t the first one to reach out on this. In the past year, not only have I watched friends and family lose parents to cancer, but I have also seen friends lose spouses, children and siblings. Today, 1 in 2 men are expected to get cancer in the United States and 1 in 3 women. It is the leading cause of death by disease in American children. It is not just an epidemic, it is quickly becoming a plague, and we have to stop it.
One of the friends that I lost to cancer this year was another high school classmate. He was captain of the football team, captain of the track team, and someone that everyone simply adored. His heart was huge.
When we were in high school, I remember hanging out with him one night, and he shared that the night before his birthday, every year, he would dance. He danced to celebrate the year he’d just had, to wrap it up.
Tomorrow is my 45th birthday. A birthday has never felt as precious as it does this year, and tonight, as we cook dinner, I will turn on the music and dance. Dance in memory of Stephen, dance to celebrate Chris’ fight, dance because I love so many amazing people in my life and still have them here.
Life is loaded with minutes in every day where we can use our talents to make the world a better place and use our hearts to love.
Do it without hesitation. We never truly know how long we have.