For many reasons, June 9 is probably a special day for lots of people.
But June 9, 2020 was a hooray day for our friend, Lynn Berry.
Mrs. Berry is a cancer survivor. This past Tuesday marked year number 15 for her being cancer free.
I don’t know about you, but I will take some good news like that in our current upside down world.
In fact, I will celebrate anyone’s proper beat down of cancer.
Of all the things human beings are asked to contend with in their lives, I despise cancer more than anything.
I will never ever, ever, ever forgive cancer for robbing the life of my mother.
My sister is a breast cancer survivor. I can still hear the pain in her voice from the afternoon she tracked me down by phone to share her rotten news.
And that’s the thing about cancer, it is rotten. Rotten to its cellular core. It has no redeeming qualities at all.
Cancer is the evil of all evils, the meanest of the meanest. Cancer respects no one, I mean no one.
Cancer doesn’t care if you are 3 or 93. Cancer doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, kind hearted, or mean spirited like cancer. Cancer has no conscience.
I still remember the e-mail from my cousin Alice when she shared the news about her three year old grandson, Eoin. He had been diagnosed with a form of childhood leukemia.
Eoin and his family were lucky. He, his parents, family, friends, and an extraordinary team of nurses and doctors beat it back.
I still wear my orange wrist band that states: Eoin is a fighter.
Think about your own personal lives. Take a minute, remember the people you know or have known who have been involved in a skirmish with cancer. The names, faces, and connections add up too quickly.
A long time ago, Chester Fritz, a legendary football coach in the Richmond area once told me this little nugget. When your team’s quarterback goes back to throw a pass only one good thing can happen. That good thing is a receiver on the quarterback’s team catches the pass.
Perhaps the same can be said about cancer. The only good thing that can come from a diagnosis is that a person is able to battle the demon out of his/her body for eternity.
For 14 months, I had the privilege of pinch hitting as the school board representative for the Tuckahoe District on the Henrico County School Board. In fact, the member I replaced resigned to devote all of her energy to battle cancer out of her body.
While serving, I had to decide if I wanted to run to fill that spot for a four year term. I thought a lot about the possibility. Discussed what would be involved with my wife and some wise friends.
I concluded two things. Even though I love public education, I am not a politician. Second, I am not a fundraiser. I could not in good conscience ask a friend for a hundred dollars toward my campaign. I would rather that donation go to a good cause, like cancer research.
Perhaps, you remember Daffy Duck from the Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoons. From time to time in his own unique phrasing Daffy stated: “You’re despicable.”
Now, I don’t mean to offend you, but in America what we spend to have a candidate elected as president is despicable.
According to an article written by Christopher Ingraham for the April 14, 2017 edition of the Washington Post the estimated price for the entire 2016 presidential campaign was 2.4 billion dollars. Add another 4 billion, and that would include the amount for the congressional elections for the same year.
Thankfully, our research dollars toward cancer are billions over that 2016 campaign total.
But that doesn’t mean we couldn’t be wiser with campaign pennies.
Wonder if a redirected campaign penny allowed a researcher in a lab to discover the cure, and in a blink, despicable cancer was gone.
But, until that day, I will be thankful for Lynn Berry’s 15 years of telling cancer to go to hell.
In that journey, I am thankful for her family, friends, nurses, and doctors that have been and will continue to be a part of her success.
And somewhere in that long, long road I am sure Lynn is thankful for all of the prayers.
Perhaps, Romans 12:12 states it best: Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Hooray for Mrs. Berry!