Sometimes, my life can feel very isolating – alone most days in my house, no colleagues – only cats and the super pup. Some days, I never leave the house, never see another human being. Most days I really enjoy that.
But this aloneness, this inward focus can make me feel separate, and if I’m not careful, it can also make me self-absorbed – convinced that whatever I’m doing is THE most important thing going on in the world. I have to remind myself over and over that other people have other priorities and needs – that what I want isn’t always the same thing everyone else wants.
And for that reason, I’m particularly grateful to the American Cancer Society, who has given me the absolute honor of chairing a Relay For Life event for the past two years. As you may know, Relay For Life is a giant fundraiser that works in local communities to help bring in dollars for research but also to educate people about cancer prevention as well as provide services to people with the disease. As chair, I organize an AMAZING group of volunteers, who last year worked to bring in over $85,000 to fight cancer and support people who are fighting their own battles.
Working with Relay For Life gives me a way to use my grief for my mom, who died just over two years ago from cancer. Every time, I get a donation, every time a new group of people forms a team and joins us, every time I meet a cancer survivor, I remember Mom – her laugh, her strength, and her love for other people. Relay reminds me of her, and it takes my mind off myself and my preoccupations of the writers’ life.
So today, I am using my voice to give a call out to you, my readers, to join us in this fight. I am asking you if you would consider giving $5 to this fight. My goal is to raise $5,000 to help people with this disease get wigs and rides to treatment, to provide health information to people so that we are less likely to develop cancer, and to fund research for a cure. I would love to raise $500 in donations from you, the Whisperers, the people who support my dream for this farm, the people who read what I write, the people who form such a crucial part of my community. Please consider giving – your dollars could, very well, save a life or find the cure.
You can donate by visiting my personal website. There you can give a general gift or dedicate a luminaria for someone you love. Luminaria are candles that we light to honor the people who fought this battle and are still with us or to remember the people we have lost to this disease. They are a tangible way to both strike a blow against cancer and also celebrate our friends and family who battle cancer. And if you’d like, you can give $10 to honor my mom Ruth Cumbo or my dad Woody Cumbo, my mom’s primary caregiver during her illness.
Also, if you’d just like more information about the services that the American Cancer Society funds, please visit their website – www.cancer.org. There, you will find information about the research ACS funds, about services available for people with cancer, and about ways to help prevent this disease in yourself and the people you love.
I’m hoping that by the end of this week, March 3rd, we will reach our $500 goal for Andilit. Thank you for considering a gift.
What causes are you passionate about? Is there any organization or struggle you’d like me to spread the word about? Please, let me know.