When people watch someone they love struggle with a disease, they deal with it in multiple ways. It’s why nobody can step into the shoes of another for how they grieve a loss. Some may suffer in private. Some may act-out and not show their sadness. Others may choose to make a difference in honor of their loved one’s life. The latter are our often the fundraisers who share the commitment of never letting another loved one experience what colorectal cancer brought to their lives.
Over the course of the years, I’ve been amazed by numbers of families and friends that have become individual or team fundraisers. The stories of those who walk, run and celebrate with a colorectal cancer patient can elevate the day. Then you see a sign, bib or shirt signifying a loved one is gone and it can feel like a large pit dropped into the stomach.
There is an amazing camaraderie of all of the fundraisers and teams. They are not alone. They are committed to change this world and other lives. They are our “grassroots army” that has understood our mission and vision.
Fundraisers work as hard as our staff to ensure their communities turn toward colorectal cancer instead of away from it. They tirelessly send emails, letters and tell others they need to get screened. They say the words colon, colorectal and colonoscopy, because to them – it is everyday language.
With every race, thousands of dollars are raised by teams and individuals. In many of our events, it’s often more dollars than the dollars provided by sponsors. Fundraisers take the time to recruit others to the race. Teams have ranged in size from 3 to 300 in cities. Corporate and medical teams have joined the party too and show their support of their employees, patients and the community.
The story doesn’t end there…it keeps going with every event and benefit. There are countless stories daily. We wish we could tell the story of so many of you.
Be moved to celebrate someone’s life. You you may be surprised at what you can do to bring change. L.A.‘s Backenders took first place in fundraising as a team honoring the memory of Lynn Anderson. I was one of the lucky ones fortunate to meet this amazing team in Raleigh, North Carolina. We wanted to post this story today to honor Lynn’s memory, on the anniversary of her death.
Written By Van Anderson, husband
Lynn was diagnosed with colon cancer in April, 2007. During her battle, she was always looking to the positive and trying to find different ways of coping with having cancer. She went through all the traditional regimens for treating the disease, and worked with alternative techniques such as holistic healing, spiritual touch therapy, and hypnosis.
Lynn was an inspiration to many people and demonstrated a positive attitude of “living with cancer, rather than dying from it”. For greater than three years, she, with courage and grace, fought to beat the disease that finally took her life.
Lynn passed away July 11, 2010. She was a wonderful wife to me for greater than 25 years and mother of two fantastic children, Jeremy (24) and Olivia (20). She loved God, her family, and friends from many areas of her life.
Lynn walked and proudly formed and led a team in the 2009 Raleigh Get Your Rear in Gear event. She had hopes of participating again in the future. During the 2009 event, Lynn and others, thought of the team name L.A.’s Back Enders. Kathy Chmielewski and Lou Ann Martin-Rogers, both friends from our church, Aldersgate UMC, wanted to lead this team in memory of Lynn.
Many people from AUMC, as well as other family and friends, quickly joined us in the effort. Lynn was loved by many, which is evident by the number of people that were on our team and the amount of money we raised.
Although Lynn is no longer here to participate, it is with great pleasure that we honor her by participating in the 2011 Get Your Rear in Gear event. In memory of Lynn, our team plans to return each year to help raise money for supporting the Colon Cancer Coalition.
Editor’s note: next month, we will be highlighting a couple of very special 13 year old fundraisers – Selena Lemus and Kyle Rosenberg