There has never been a sweeter victory when my mom "Rang the Bell" at her last day of cancer treatment in June at the Calaway Young Cancer Center. In fact she rang it so hard and loud it almost broke. When my mom was diagnosed it was super scary for myself and my sisters as the word "cancer" made our hearts drop to our stomach and we didn't really understand what her treatment would involve. We had a hard time focusing in school and tried to mask our feelings. Life in general was a feeling of emptiness and a weird heavy fog over our heads even though my dad and mom helped us the best way they could. This all changed when we opened the doors and stepped foot into the Calaway Young Cancer Center. We were greeted with smiles and everyone wanted to give us something to eat or drink, they knew our names and asked us about ourselves. Kate Klos gave me a tour of the cancer center, answered my questions and gave me a better understanding of what my mom's treatment would look like. I met a lot of really nice people and the 6 ton door to the radiation room was pretty amazing. My mom's entire cancer team, integrated therapist, navigation nurse, radiation nurses, radiation oncologist, oncologist, physical therapist and the everyone in valet parking were very supportive to my family and put a positive light on the entire experience. We all know that cancer sucks, but my mom’s cancer diagnose taught me some life lessons in realizing I need to think beyond myself and see how we all can be of support for each other. I was angry, not at her, just the fact that cancer had invaded our space and shook our world a little. Cancer cannot destroy who we are it only makes us stronger. My mom’s positive attitude and continued energy in getting up at 4 in the morning to take me to basketball practice, attending all of her kids games and even spending an entire day at my track meet the day after her third surgery plus the many other things she gets done combined with the generous, caring and loving support I witnessed of the entire cancer team gave me inspiration and a new perspective in how I can reach out to others especially kids whose parents are faced with a cancer diagnosis. I needed to commit by not just watching but doing something to make a difference. This is when I choose to take my passion of basketball beyond the court by encouraging my teammates and school community in giving of ourselves to help others. Jo Bershenyi of integrated therapies helped guide me and support me in any way she can to establish my team “GWS BALLERS” I created to Rally for everyone. If we can give back to community, raise an awareness and encourage others to become more involved, I believe that we will see positive changes in our world. The Calaway Young Cancer Center not only gave of their hearts, but opened opportunities for me to see things in a different light. Many thanks to the entire staff at Calaway Young Cancer Center for taking care of my mom’s physical, mental and spiritual well being. Our family is grateful you helped us WIN the FIGHT. - AJ Adams age 15
Taking a leap outside of the playing field by serving, raising an awareness and encourage others to become more involved in community.