We were in a white, sterile exam room when the doctor told me I had cancer. Later, when I was talking on the phone with a friend I reasoned that I didn’t have time for death, I had a teenage daughter to raise.
As I contemplated the fine mess I’d gotten into, I realized I would do anything to survive. Live better. Be nicer. Eat better, I would even eat liver and fish weekly, no small sacrifice for me. Would I have to travel far from home for weeks at a time to get the treatment? Whatever and wherever it was, we would do it.
Amidst the treatment I wasn’t sure would save me, I found myself studying senior citizens as they tottered around with their grey hair and canes. In a society where youth is king, I envied those who reached the pinnacle of, well, oldness. I wanted to be elderly, too.
I am lucky to be a cancer survivor. I will be here to raise my daughter. I am a survivor, in large part, because I live in the right place, a place where we have access to the brilliant minds of the medical community.
There are places in the world where they don’t have access to medical care. To cure the most simple of disease is a steep mountain to climb without the basic health care. SowHope is working to help those communities offer even the most simple medical care, so they, too, can raise their teenage daughters.