While I was getting ready this morning in front of the mirror, I became extremely aware of the scar that now extends across my neck.
For the first time, I allowed my battle wound to stop me. I began to wonder… how I was going to cover it? Should I cover it? Will it be a focal point for audiences as I start my season back on TV? Will it be the first thing that people see when they are speaking to me? Those moments that I lost focusing on something that is now part of my journey, were not only moments for myself, but moments for everyone else today, on World Cancer Day.
Each year on February 4th, the World Health Organization supports the International Union Against Cancer to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. I have always been an active supporter in the battle against cancer, but this year it hits much closer to home.
I was incredibly lucky, but I am painfully aware of the number of people who are not as fortunate as me. According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Statistics show that in 2008, cancer accounted for the deaths of nearly 7.8 million people.
Yes, we have come a long way in fighting the “C” word. But we still have a long way to go. To put it simply – cancer isn’t just one beast. It is an army of beasts! There are countless, unique forms of cancer that all manifest differently in each individual. What I am saying is that as much as we wish it were the case – there isn’t just one master cure. Treatments for cancer are as intricate and varied as the disease itself.
I know, I know. At this point you are probably thinking “Brooke, I get it! Why are you listing so many facts??” Well the answer is – because we all need to know them. Spreading knowledge is the key to preventing and fighting this terrible disease. If you are reading this post, chances are you have easy access to the internet and the vast library of information it has to offer. But what about those who are not in the same position? Who don’t have access to any information or even to proper medical care?
Just talking about it won’t accomplish anything. We have to stand up! Join the conversation, start a dialogue, participate in positive campaigns and initiatives, go out there and DO SOMETHING! Cancer doesn’t discriminate – parents, children, family, friends… we are all susceptible. That is why I wholeheartedly believe that it is our duty to join hands, spread the word and fight this fight.
I am proud of my scar and what it represents; the battle that I won, the fear that I overcame, the stress that I bared. Today my scar serves a personal reminder of the responsibility I have to fight for the lives of other cancer victims. I am reminded of those that need my help; that need your help. Let’s stand up together and fight.