Make a Difference

Ray and I have come to a few different conclusions on research.

1. Research is hard and grueling (we are both in the dissertation phase of our doctorates).

2. Research needs funding in order to be conducted (this usually comes in the form of grants or donations).

3. Research makes a difference.

Let me expound upon that third conclusion.

Although through our schooling we understand research from an educational standpoint, we have also come to reap the benefits from medical research. My sister who works for American Cancer Society was recently approached by a woman at a fundraiser event who said, “I just feel like we keep on donating and giving money towards cancer research, and yet nothing is happening.” I’m sure this is a common complaint.  

To this, my sister told her the story of my husband.

Without research, doctors would have no idea what is causing his cancer or how to treat it. Research has provided the answers to these questions and has provided medicine that addresses the genetic switch in his body. If he were diagnosed with CML fifteen years ago, it would have been a death sentence–he would have been given 3-4 more years to live, and that’s it. Today, because of research, Ray is able to take medicine that allows him to live a pretty “normal” life.

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Of course, the story is not over. We are still working through a few complications, and there are still some bumps in the road. More research is needed.

Although Ray’s kind of cancer is one of the most well-researched forms of cancer, many other forms of cancer have a long way to go. My dad recently battled bladder cancer, but went home to be with Jesus on December 6, 2014. He battled fiercely for two years. This year, an estimated 77,000 people will be diagnosed with bladder cancer. More research is needed.

October is breast cancer awareness month. On October 4, we celebrated 22 years since my mom finished her battle with breast cancer and went home to be with Jesus. I was only a little girl but for a good portion of my childhood, I remember my mother fiercely battling her terminal disease. This year alone, nearly 250,000 women are being newly diagnosed with breast cancer. More research is needed.

Like many of you, I currently have very close relatives who are battling various forms of cancer today. More research is needed.

So, what is the purpose of this post?

Thank you.

Thank you, to all those of you who attend fundraisers, make donations, or make purchases that fund organizations like American Cancer Society. Thank you, organizations like Chevy who this month is donating $5 to ACS for breast cancer research every time #idrivefor hashtag is used on social media.  

Thank you, researchers, who engage in the challenging and grueling task of conducting research. You are making a difference. 

Today, #idrive for my mom, and the thousands of other women who are affected by breast cancer. Who do you drive for?

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You may not be in a place financially where you are able to donate to research, but if you can share this post or use #idrivefor on your own social media platforms, money is donated, and research continues.

Do not grow weary. Research makes a difference.

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