Over the years, I have watched friends and loved ones fight cancer. It is a devastating disease that I’ve tried to advocate for further research, ways to help and support those fighting and their family. 2020 has been a year full of chaos for many but this punch has hit in a way that has taken our breath away. This past month, my Uncle was diagnosed with Stage IV Lung Cancer.
There are no words to describe the feeling of knowing a loved one with cancer is fighting and feeling unable to help. I have always been one to jump into action, head to the hospital, sit with other family members, run to the store, or anything to help. With COVID-19 restrictions, it became a new circumstance I have not fully decided how to cope and help.
My mom was the youngest daughter of her siblings, with a younger brother born four years after. When I was born, my Uncle Gary was only 17. Living with my Grandparents, my Uncle lived with us until I was probably 6 or 7 years old. I have memories of being right behind my Grandpa and taking in anything and everything he could teach me but I also can tell you stories of mischief making and rough housing with Uncle Gary. I can probably tell you stories of Grandma trying to throw house slippers at the two of them; with little me on the floor laughing. My Uncle was the closest relative besides my Mom, Grandma, and Grandpa. As an adult, I can tell you he definitely played a role in being a “father figure”, even if he just thought I was an easy head lock.
Gary is the youngest of his siblings. His only child is a Senior in high school this year. With cancer in advanced stages, many can understand the worry of essentials when unable to work. Our family is researching resources for family with cancer that can help take any burden off of the basics so Gary can focus on his fight.
My mom has set up a fundraiser page on Facebook Helping my brother Gary’s Fight against Cancer. To help put everything in one spot, we started a Facebook page, GaryStrong. As I’m sure those that know and love him, in finding ways to help, we’ve also created an Amazon Wish List for Gary.
One thing at a time. Gary has an army forming behind him. <3