I’ve been cancer free for 8-years. I admit it’s a badge of courage I wear with pride. Yet if you asked me to give you the day-by-day details of the battle, it would be a struggle. Much of my experience has become a vague, distant memory; however there is one significant event I remember vividly – the diagnosis. I remember the sterile, cold room where I awaited my fate. I remember the doctor and nurse entering the room. I remember the Doctor standing at the foot of the examining table and the nurse who stood at my side – was she there to soften the blow or catch me if I were to fall? I remember the doctor deeply inhaling, preparing to say the words- “I’m sorry. You have cancer.” I recall my husband’s face turn to panic and just as quickly to a determined look of how can I fix this. I remember the tears welling in my eyes. I remember leaving the office, averting the gaze of waiting room visitors who wondered, what could be this woman’s fate?
Repeat this scenario. You’re sitting in a doctor’s office. The doctor and nurse enter. The nurse stands at your side, as if there to catch you if you were to fall. The doctor who sits before you, takes a deep breath as to prepare himself to speak the words that will inevitably change your life forever - “I’m sorry. Your child has cancer.”
I find it difficult to even type the words. Saying them out loud is nearly impossible. Hearing those words? Unfathomable. Yet these were the words that Jake Wetchler’s parents heard and are the same words that approximately 12,400 parents in the US are told every year.
Jake Wetchler was a senior in high school when he was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin’s lymphoma. His parents describe him as a born philosopher who pushed himself to the max both physically and mentally. Jake fought hard and successfully beat his Hodgkin’s into remission; however the joy was short lived. Nearly a year later, Jake was diagnosed with AML- an aggressive and relentless form of cancer which was likely caused by the chemotherapy used to treat Jake’s Hodgkin’s. Not without a fight, AML eventually took the life of Jake Wetchler. Here is an excerpt from Jake’s story, which I urge you to read in full:
In this age of incredible scientific and medical advances, the treatments for most pediatric cancers have yet to advance in recent decades. The Jake Wetchler Foundation- don’t let the cancer win is fighting to make a change. Their fundraising mission, Fight Back with Fitness, helps raise the necessary funds for research and improvement of pediatric cancer treatments.
|Challenge yourself to a personal fitness goal and raise funds by promising to stick with it. You get fit and kids get a better chance at beating cancer. Everyone wins.|
I’m a child safety professional by day, but a volleyball coach by night. In Jake’s honor and in his spirit, our team, the “Sparx”, are joining The JakeWetchler Foundation as part of the MVSAFight Back with Fitness Invitational. In addition to playing in this tournament, our team of 11 girls are determined to reach a fundraising goal of $500. Why Fight Back with Fitness? Because it challenges participants to Pick a Fitness Goal, Set a Fundraising Goal, and Go For It!
|The Sparx are Fighting Back with Fitness!|
Team Sparx wants your help! Will you help us reach our goal? It’s easy to do. Simply click on the link to our fundraising page and donate what you can. Every dollar counts but you must act fast. We want to reach our goal by March 25th. It is on this day that Team Sparx will dedicate each serve, set, pass and dig to this cause. We will strive to play each game with the strength and courage Jake Wetchler demonstrated every day.