Cancer is limited.
Cancer may be at the forefront of the Tour de Pier, but the people that it affects are at the heart of the event. Patients, caregivers, family members and friends: we are the core. It is by the grace of God that we can join forces and ride against Cancer.
It cannot cripple love.
My husband, Kory, and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary at UCLA medical center. He was experiencing headaches and was off balance. A few days later the diagnosis of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) was handed to my 41 year old husband and father of our three children.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
The median survival rate of patients diagnosed with GBM is about 14 months. Kory continued to battle against his death sentence for 22 months. He had a positive spirit, never losing hope with each treatment and therapy he was given.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
Kory was an inspiration to many. As one friend wrote:
“Your thoughts of others,
As you’ve always done,
Says the kind of a man you are.
To know that, of those, I am one
Has me feeling like I’m a star.
What a crooked path I’ve wandered down.
And such a big part of my story:
I know one of the best men around.
I’m honored to call my friend, Kory.”
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
Kory and I were not strangers to cancer. Our middle son Dylan was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at 10 months old. Kory’s Uncle, Ray, battled liver cancer. My grandmother, Edna, survived breast cancer. Kory’s grandmother, Peggy, and my grandfather, Sy, both lost their fight with leukemia. Finally, my father, Mike, was diagnosed six months prior to Kory with colon cancer. All of these family members paved the path of courage, strength and love that we traveled.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
Kory passed away peacefully on May 18th, 2013. He was 43 years old. During the evening after Kory’s death, I opened my Bible randomly trying perhaps to make some sense of the day or the past 2 years. The page I opened to was out of the book of Job. Job was a righteous man who suffered greatly in his own life. The portion of the page that caught my attention was Job 11: 13-19. It reads as follows:
“Yet if you devote your heart to him and stretch out your hands to him, if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent, then free of fault, you will lift up your face: you will stand firm and without fear. You will surely forget your trouble, recalling it only as waters gone by. Life will be brighter than noonday, and darkness will become like morning. You will be secure, because there is hope: you will look about you and take rest in safety. You will lie down, with no one to make you afraid.”
I felt as if Kory was leaving me with this message. He was not afraid to die, and this passage was confirming that he had no fear on that day. His pain, suffering, and troubles were no longer an issue, like water gone by, and that heaven was brighter than noonday and there was no more darkness. Most importantly, we could be secure because there was Hope. Hope in everlasting life and that we would be together again.
It cannot quench the spirit.
I am riding the Tour de Pier for Kory and for all who have been touched by cancer. Our spirit is strong and together we can make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families.