Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Fighting Fire with Fire

There was a time when I would have said you can't cure cancer.

Let that sink in for a minute.

A time before I became a Momcologist. When I was just a veterinarian. And before that, just a scientist. I was well-versed in the cautiously optimistic, third person lingo of modern medical research.

We always showed restraint. Even when trying to get funds designated for medical advancement.

If you want to get into graduate school, don't write, "I want to cure cancer" in your personal statement.

If you want to get into medical school, don't say, "I want to help people" during your interview.

Cynical? Maybe. But that's how it is.

With that in mind, watch this video. (It's okay, I'll still be here when you come back)

In the opening scene, the interviewer asks, "Is it hard for you to say you are trying to cure cancer?"

Why is it so hard for us to admit we want a cure? To hope for a cure? To plan for a cure?

If my daughter had been diagnosed with leukemia 40 or 50 years ago, she would have been given a 4% chance of surviving. Our doctors would have told us to prepare ourselves, take a trip, enjoy these moments.

Today, kids with ALL have about a 90% survival rate. The survival rate for pediatric AML, my daughter's leukemia", is only about 50%, but that is much better than it was 50 years ago. We are curing cancer. And there is every reason to believe that progress can and will continue.

In a few weeks I will sign up for the Team in Training winter season. I will train for Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge. Why? Because if I can run a half marathon on Saturday, and a Full the following day, why can't we find a cure for cancer.

I will set my fundraising goal high. Greater than $10,000 this year. Maybe $20,000? $30,000? Why stop there?

There was a time when I was 25 pounds overweight and had a dream of running a marathon. But I wouldn't admit it to anyone. Why? Maybe the same reason physicians and scientists don't want to admit they are hoping to end cancer. What would their friends say?
The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society has slogan "Someday is Today." They believe they are curing blood cancers. They aren't afraid to say it. And their conviction and enthusiasm is contagious.

We will end cancer. Want to join me?

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