Image by Fuzzy Gerdes

For those that know me, I don’t usually curse but since today is World Cancer DayI thought this picture (and sentiment) was more than appropriate.

A blogger I respect immensely, Wendy Nielsen, (a cancer survivor herself) brought it to my attention that the organization Stand Up To Cancer has designated today the day that people around the world join together and spread the message that we all stand for the end of cancer.

Cancer affects everyone and the repercussions are devastating.  My world turned upside down when I was 16 and lost my young stepmother.  I also had my own cancer scare myself in 2012 (read here and here).

There are 3 people connected to me that are fighting cancer right now and I wanted the world to know a little more about these brave people:

– The first fighter is Danny V.:  Danny just turned 11 in August 2012. On June 27, 2012, Danny’s family took him to the ER thinking he had appendicitis and was instead diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.  Danny is the son of an old friend.  Jay and I became (semi) adults with his parents in our 20’s and the thought that these friends of ours, their daughter and all of the people who know and love Danny are going through this, guts me.  I got a chance to see my old friend (whom I sadly hadn’t seen in many years) and show some modicum of support to her and her family before I moved to Los Angeles this summer.   We may be far apart in years and distance by my heart is with them through this fight.  If you would like to help raise funds for Danny and his family click here.

– The second fighter is Jon D.: Jon is my neighbor.  He is a 32 year old father of two, triathlete and an Episcopalian priest.  Jon was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called pleomorphic rhabdomyosarcoma in October 2012.  I orchestrated a benefit called the Ride For Jon over Thanksgiving weekend (you can read about that here) because I felt the need to do something more than just feel awful.  Jon and his family have their own blog detailing their journey through this fight, Biking Before Dawn.  Jon has gone through one round of chemotherapy and is scheduled for surgery on Feb 14th (my birthday).  If you would like to help this family, a Youcaring account has been set up by friends and family here.

– The third fighter is Helena E.Helena is a dear friend’s mother.  Jay and I fell out of touch with these good friends until recently and we are so thrilled to have them back in our lives.  We not only love our dear friends but have grown so very fond of our friend’s mother, Helena and her husband. Jay and I have been lucky enough to spend delicious meals (and wine) together with our friends and her parents both in New York and England, at their home.  We were devastated to find out that Helena was diagnosed with Colon Cancer as we were on our flight back to Los Angeles (after just having Thanksgiving with said dear friends).  As of a few weeks ago, Helena’s colon cancer was deemed adenocarcinoma.  She is post major surgery and scheduled to begin chemotherapy very soon.  Helena is both Irish (and English) through and through and a fundraising site would be unthinkable so no link is available (but loving vibes are welcome by her daughter).


The picture is awful but so is the subject matter.

The bottom line is that cancer is awful and sadly, doesn’t discriminate. For these 3 fighters and for so many others, I Stand Up To Cancer today.

You can go here to download the SU2C placard, write who you stand up for, take your picture holding the placard and post your picture either on the SU2C Facebook page here, use the hashtag #istandupfor on Twitter or Instagram and of course paste it on your own Facebook or Pinterest page.

Like I said, my picture sucks but so does the subject matter.  Go.  Now!