“You Have Cancer!”
Those are the words I heard on April 20, 2010 and on April 22nd 2010; I heard it was Stage IV Head & Neck Cancer! The following 7 months of my ongoing battle with cancer proved to be nothing short of hell on earth. It was my faith in God and the love from family, friends and strangers that buoyed my courage to continue to fight. It was a medical team that showed no limits in their compassion for supporting me then and that continues today! Lastly, it was the Dream and Action of creating a charity to make my nephew and nieces proud of their uncle that would “Pay it Forward” long after my life were to end whether that was during my battle with cancer or many years later. Thankfully, we are at the many years later and 5 years to be exact!
David’s Dream & Believe Cancer Foundation is on the doorstep of offering financial assistance, services and HOPE to 500 families in less than 5 years. 200+ families just in 2015! This generosity of spirit, compassion and love would not be possible were it not for YOU. YOU are the individual donors that attend events, create fundraisers and make a general donation or sign up for planned giving. YOU are the business that sponsors an event, create fundraisers and make a general donation or finds a creative way to offer planned giving to DDBCF. YOU are the volunteers that selflessly give up your time to assist us with an event or serve on a committee. YOU are the individuals or businesses that donate auction items or food to an event. YOU are the students in elementary, middle, high school or colleges that sign up to volunteer on behalf of the Foundation. YOU are the family and friends that not only support the Foundation but stand by me and understand that this is my mission in life. YOU are the girlfriend that stands by my side, donates, volunteers and works on committees for the Foundation. YOU are the directors that have served or currently serve on a 100% volunteer basis and give your talents, time and heart to the families of this Foundation! YOU are the PATIENTS and FAMILIES battling a cancer diagnosis and those PATIENTS who have courageously lost their battle to cancer that inspire all of us. YOU are all reasons we have been able to offer HOPE to 500 families!
I spent the anniversary of my 5 years cancer-free with a new friend at the Baseball Park where his son had practice. I was introduced back in April by a mutual friend when she learned of his similar diagnosis to mine. We have spoken numerous times throughout the past 7 months during his almost identical surgeries, radiation and chemo. He has completed his radiation and chemo and had his last surgery about 55 days ago. We talked for quite some time and shared our similar experiences. 3 things stuck out more than anything else. He asked if the pain would ever stop. I remember the horrific and constant pain like it was yesterday. I not only understood his pain but I assured him he was in the home stretch and to keep the faith. Next, he brought a cooler with water for both of us. The pain reared up again when he would drink his water. I remember that awful feeling when even drinking water felt like you were drinking charred glass. Lastly but most importantly, he told me he got a call from his doctor on his way to meet me that he was CANCER-FREE! I informed him that the same day was my 5 years CANCER-FREE anniversary!
I am truly grateful for today and I’m elated when God blesses me with a new sunrise tomorrow! I cannot thank you enough for your friendship and support for DDBCF!
Dream & Believe, David