Although this team wasn’t officially named until two years ago, I have been on it for over 18 years now (and if you can’t tell by the look on my face and sign language, I’m not a big fan of cancer). I wear this shirt today in honor of Linda Goudas, mother of one of my close friends Aimee Goudas. It was a year ago today that Linda lost her battle with cancer. She was diagnosed in July of 2007 and like many, had an up and down battle with this horrible disease. Throughout it all, she inspired Aimee with the way she stayed positive. While Linda was staying positive, Aimee formed Team Cancer Sucks in 2008 as part of the yearly Jimmy Fund Walk that follows the exact path of the Boston Marathon. Without giving it any thought, I joined Team Cancer Sucks and actually made the shirts (and this year our friend Heather will be professionally designing them!). It was a long walk, a very tiring day, and tons of fun. Aimee said her mother Linda was shocked that she and her sister Nicole made it all the way, predicting they wouldn’t make it past Ashland. (Well Linda, you were just one year off, ha ha, kidding Aimee!)…not to mention how shocked she must have been looking down when her brother Chris finished the whole thing last year!
Although I didn’t know Linda very well, I am a firm believer of parents being the biggest influence on how their children act and treat other people. If you know Aimee, you know she’s a strong and awesome person. You know she stands up for what she believes in, and you’ve heard her infectious laugh. This past Christmas Eve, I had the best time hanging out with Aimee, Nicole, and Chris…I could feel the Love between them, and I know that is a product of a Love passed on by Linda. I feel honored Aimee asked me to wear this shirt and write about this today.
Yes, Cancer does suck. It takes people we care about. It took Linda. It took my friends Danny, Justin, and Greg. It took my hair. It makes people suffer. It gives me and others periods of survivor’s guilt. But, there’s only one thing you can do and that is fight back. That is, do something that helps those who are going through it. Cam Neely did it (both of his parents passed away from cancer within 6 months of each other) by starting The Neely House, I do it by working at Hope Lodge and by writing, and Aimee does it through Team Cancer Sucks. If you would like to support or become a member of Team Cancer Sucks, please visit the team site here: http://www.jimmyfundwalk.org/faf/search/searchTeamPart.asp?ievent=340171&team=3664328
Or on Facebook here:
This year’s walk is on Sunday, September 12th, so mark your calendars!