So, in my humble attempt to try to motivate or inspire Maryland’s men’s lacrosse team as their honorary team captain in yesterday’s HEADstrong lacrosse tournament, I urged them to walk away with three things as a result of having met me…
First, I reminded them that I am living proof that in spite of doing all of the right things; in spite of eating right, exercising, and always trying to make the right choices; crap happens. And when it does, the first choice you have is to make is whether to sit on the couch and feel sorry for yourself, asking all of the “why me” questions….. or address the problem and move on.
Point number two… treatment can work. For all of the terrible stories you hear of death and loss, there are even more examples of survivorship. I drove the point home that we are winning this war and that all of the research and advancements that have been made in cancer research is working. My doctor called me a “responder” early on in my treatment because I reacted so well to what many people refer to as poison – chemotherapy.
And lastly, I reminded them that they were there to play a sport that they loved. And the beauty of the weekend was that they were able to play a game, while raising huge dollars for a very worthy blood cancer cause. I pleaded with them to never lose track of that concept. I told them that they had all been given a special gift in that they were being given the chance to do something that they loved, while making a difference in the lives of others. I told them that I hoped that whatever their passions end up being 5, 10, or 50 years from now, that they will always try to find a way to unite their passions with ways to give back – some how, some way.