It’s his mission to raise cancer awareness

Published 8:39 am Friday, April 24, 2009

To the Editor:

This week (April 19 -25) is National Cancer Awareness Week. It has a lot of meaning to me, because this time last year I was starting my cancer chemotherapy treatments. It is also most significant to me because of all of the outpouring of love and prayers from the local community. I am very humbled by the extraordinary love that the entire community gave, regardless of background or religious persuasion. It was through the prayers of The Tidewater News readership community and beyond that helped me with my journey with cancer. To all of you I want to say thank you.

I also want it to be known that this is not the first time that my community has reached out its loving arm to me. It is with great joy in my heart to say that — to borrow some words — you have loved me as I have loved you. Again I say, thank you.

Cancer awareness starts with keeping in tune with your body as well as “trying” to maintain a proactive program of general health check-ups. I am not one for going much to the doctor. But, when your body says to you, “Hey buddy, get me checked out. I am not really feeling well” then do it. It may save your life. It did mine, because now I am cancer free.

When my doctor told me I had cancer, yes there was a brief moment when my spirit sank. But I know my life has been about living and giving. I said to my doctor, “This is not about me. It is about my community. My journey will be about being a poster child for cancer — showing that we have the means to catch it early, set up treatments and produce positive outcomes in many cases. My life’s mission for the past five years to bring quality health care to the community was turning a corner.

Cancer awareness starts with you, then your family and then your community. Share your knowledge, your time, your spirit and, most of all, your love. We are not in this journey called life alone. Share, care and be aware. Blessings to you all. Listen to your body. See your local doctor. The life you save may be your own. Peace.

Frank Urquhart