My Hope

Sister, Sister – two way twister.

Earlier today, I text my little sister Brittney and asked her if she wanted to go for a run / walk with me when I got into town. I don’t like to run at night, especially in Indy. But I don’t like to run in the dark alone ever. She agreed, but quickly said she would walk – running was not on her agenda.

A few minutes later, she said that there was a Relay for Life event at her high school. I can’t believe I am saying this, but I’ve never been to a Relay for Life event. Ever. So I was really looking forward to this event – to celebrate survivors and honor those who have passed before us….

As I looked around the track, I saw familiar faces.

I caught up with friends from school and fought temptation of sweet snacks and salty treats.

But more importantly, I felt alive.  I felt inspired. I felt a sense of connectedness with every single person I walked by. A simple smile and I felt touched by their soul…

I saw survivors of all ages. It melted my heart. I quickly realized that cancer has no age…..

During one of our laps, we heard a story about a young woman who was battling leukemia. Her boyfriend was in law school, but he wasted no time putting his education on hold to support his girlfriend. He even donated bone marrow to her this past September.

I couldn’t help but cry…she was so young. So looked so happy, yet she was struggling for her life. She wrapped her arms around him the entire time the announcer read her letter. They looked up at each other and you could not only see- but feel their love. She leaned up and gave him a kiss on the cheek. You could tell he was proud to be standing next to her; proud to support her; proud to help her live another day.

He received an award for being an outstanding caregiver. The crowd started clapping and I cheered loudly for this young couple. At that moment, my sister looked across the field and saw the candles spelled out a word. A word that fit so appropriately for this moment. For this event. For this couple.

It said:

Hope.

Every cancer patient needs hope. Every mother – daughter- father – son – brother – sister – friend – cousin and even complete stranger…needs hope to get through. They need hope to fight the toughest battle of their life. They need hope to better days. They need hope for a brighter, healthier future.

And my hope is this; I hope that you understand there is always something you can do to make a difference.

You can donate time your time.

You can give a smile, hug or kiss; the cheapest and best gifts of all.

You can support the cause through monetary donations or fundraising efforts.

You can use your own social connections to spread the word.

You can give something. Anything. You might feel that you don’t have enough time,  money or energy, but you do. You just have to dig a little deeper, try a little harder or sleep a little longer.

You can be the person who gives and spreads hope to those in need of it; and I hope you do.

Much love,
Ashley

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