I love football, Twitter and Facebook. It isn’t hard to find me hanging out with friends and (strangely enough) going to class. I’ve got a great job, great friends, roommates I can stand and plenty of activities to keep me busy on campus. I love my campus ministry and my church family. Simply put, I’m your stereotypical College Sophomore. Like many my age, the banality of college life was thrilling enough, and, up until my 19th birthday, all I really had to worry about. Unfortunately, that world was turned upside down.
As October began, the news began to trickle in, tidbit by heartbreaking tidbit. First was the shaky call from my dad as he explained that a growth had been identified on my mom’s brain. Originally I wasn’t overly concerned. Why expect the worst? Life carried on, albeit with a nagging concern for the health of my mom. The next conversation I had with my dad left no such room for optimism. He established, simply, that the growth was serious. Rarely had I ever seen my dad so heartbroken. Though I didn’t know the depth of the issue, I could tell from his disposition that our stable life was about to be shaken.
Finally, my dad and mom sat me and my siblings down. “Kids”, my dad said, “Mom has brain cancer. It’s terminal.” I felt my heart drop out of my chest. So that’s it? Mom has 18 months to live? But I love my mom. I couldn’t imagine life without her. What is she never met my wife? My kids? What if we never celebrated Christmas together again? The confusion and concern rattled me. Perhaps it was in that moment that my resolve was hardened. If there was anything I could do to stop this awful thing, I would.
A couple weeks later, my brother approached me and asked if I wanted to contribute to the process of making our story know across America. What if, he asked, we used social media to end brain cancer? Here is where I got excited. It’s as if my entire life was leading up to now. Do I think it will work? Yes. Of course.
Imagine a world where thousands can be rallied around a single act of good, ending brain cancer for example, in a matter of seconds. By clicking a “like” button and donating a mere $5 dollars, we can face a disease and show it that we won’t be defeated by it. It’s almost a miracle. But it’s not. It’s just us, you and me, joining together to make a difference. I think that’s something I can get behind.
As time goes by and my mom continues to fight, I have thrown my weight with the tide of people ready to stop brain cancer. I hope you will too.