A Night of Mourning and Now a Day Back to Fighting
What invigorates me to fight the way I do? Well beyond basic self-preservation for both me and for my family – it is the sheer amount of needless loss I see on a frequent basis. Losses in the world of my fellow cancer patients, including close friends and including on some days, very special friends.
A very special friend of mine died of early-onset CRC yesterday.
Alex was only 26, diagnosed 15 months ago, no symptoms until at diagnosis and no family history of early-onset CRC.
She contacted me last May and we fast became close friends, texting essentially daily until her disease began to take off in the fall. She was a big believer in my clinical trials advocacy and immediately became a daily collaborator (her IQ and enthusiasm for life were both off the charts) that soon blossomed into a close albeit way too brief friendship.
She was an extensive world traveler, highly educated, at the beginning of an amazing career and had already had more life experiences in her brief 26 years than Hollywood could make up. I am so glad I was able to meet her in person on my collaboration trips last year before her disease really started to take off.
This has to end – there are way too many Alex’s in the world. I’m 44, that is bad enough. 26? That is a crime against humanity.
Last night with tears in my eyes I mourned her loss… and today I return to fight. For Alex, for myself, for all other patients enduring this horrid disease. I will do everything in my power to try to help end it. It has to stop.