Living a life connected with cancer is truly a double edged sword. We wish and hope for a cure, want the pain that our children deal with daily to go away, but are graced with connections just as powerful as blood.
The other night I attended The Purple Tie Affair to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to bring together volunteers and families affected by cancer. It was organized by my good friend, Mike Miller, his wife and an amazing staff of volunteers. I had the privilege to meet the wonderful parents of Lexi (4) and Avery (2), and to speak with many who shared their stories. Avery’s parents appreciated receiving the Family Hope Bag when their daughter was diagnosed and their world was thrown into confusion. One person bought a book and I signed it in honor of Dominick who was born with Leukemia and at three days old began chemotherapy. He is now 10 years old and plays football. Another woman battling cancer herself purchased a book for a 14-year-old girl who was in an adult cancer support group that didn’t fit her needs.
|We enjoyed meeting Tom and Jodie Gurka whose daughter Lexi is currently in treatment.|
Luke went with me and he noticed that parents of these children needed to talk to other parents who have gone through this journey. We understand and sometimes listening is all that is needed. When they thanked him for what the foundation did, he knew that Nick’s legacy is strong. It helps him get through missing his son, even if for that night.
I have been chatting with another parent whose son is in the midst of his cancer battle. I have not met them yet, but will tomorrow night and I am looking forward to it.
Dante Gallucci, a promising young student athlete at Schalmont High School was diagnosed with Lymphoma on May, 30, 2013. He is currently in remission, but has another two years of treatment. Dante plays football and basketball and is extremely active. Cancer has currently stopped him from being able to participate in the sports he loves, but he has chosen another way to be involved.
Make a Wish Foundation has granted a wish to Dante to visit Italy and even though Dante is in the chaos of cancer, he is already giving back. On Tuesday, January 21 Dante will coach “Team Dante” against The Harlem Wizards at Union College. His team consists of staff from The Melodies Center, local foundations, family and his school. All the money raised will be donated to Make a Wish Northeast New York Foundation. The Harlem Wizards are similar to the Harlem Globetrotters, so expect to laugh!
Young adults with cancer give back to get through their journey. Giving back keeps them occupied and empowers them to have control over one part of their life and make change.
My family and some members of Nick’s Round Table will be at this event. Tickets are only $10 and available at the door. I look forward to meeting the entire Gallucci family, giving Dante a big hug and encouraging him to keep fighting. I welcome them to our strong cancer family and know that he will beat this horrible disease.
Please join us tomorrow night for an evening of fun, laughter, compassion, and healing.