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Reflections on Survivorship and Courage

by Gail Hamm, program director

Courage is as often the outcome of despair as hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other, all to gain. ~Diane De Poitiers

It was such a privilege to meet so many survivors a week ago at the Lapper/Survivors Day Celebration. I was heartened by their stories…the volunteer who told me of the death of her son-in-law but the lives of her two grandchildren who are in remission from their cancers. Then I met the father of a teenager who succumbed to lung cancer 2 months ago and whose family was walking in this young man’s memory. Another walker rejoiced that she has been dealing with a Stage IV cancer for over 4 years but formed a large Lapper team and succeeded in completing the Walk. And I thought: what courage!

Some mornings, just getting out of bed is an act of courage. Even in the midst of doubt, the simple act of breathing is enough. This moment will only be this moment. The next moment carries us forward. We are asked to live each moment fully. The many friends and neighbors of Cancer Services who celebrated together at Foster Park embody the idea that we have nothing to lose and all to gain when hope and courage give meaning to our lives.