06 September 2013

Choose Joy

For the past few months, I've been involved with Coaches v. Cancer and their signature Teeing Off on Cancer fundraiser, which was held last week. I met some people with big hearts who were really dedicated to the cause, and we pulled off what I thought was a successful event. We raised a bit of money for a great cause and had a lot of fun playing a gorgeous golf course at Saratoga National Golf Club (Well, I didn't play, but I DID get to drive the golf cart-- even better!)

 Saratoga National Golf Club

In the throes of my misery last week because I didn't go on vacation, get enough sun, spend enough time outdoors, blah, blah, blah (find full list of complaints here), I received an email from one of the coaches on the organizing committee. He wrote about how an experience at the tournament made him even more passionate and motivated to support cancer research and fight for a cure. 

One of the girls on his basketball team and her mom volunteered at the registration table throughout the day. The mother had earlier completed a round of aggressive chemo for Stage III Melanoma, and her prognosis had been good. 

At dinnertime, the coach greeted the father, who had joined his family for a reception and awards ceremony.The father confided to the coach that the mother's cancer had returned in the form of an inoperable brain tumor. 

The remarkable part of the story is that, throughout the day, the mother was there signing people in the tournament with a smile, despite the undoubtedly unpleasant side effects of radiation therapy and heavy medication. The coaches email went on to describe the daughter, the girl on his team, "For you coaches, this girl is one of the kids you will always remember.  Not for her athleticism, but because of her attitude and disposition.  She is always positive and upbeat, always."  

It really put things into perspective and made me focus on all of the important things in life rather than sweating the small, totally insignificant stuff. Choose joy.

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