Why I FIGHT – by Sarah Leming

During my third round of chemotherapy, there was literally a fire at the hospital.  We had to evacuate.  There I was, pushing my chemotherapy IV bag out the front door into the heavy heat of that North Carolina summer day.  It was hot.  It was miserable.  And I had cancer.  But looking around, all I could see was all the sick people that surrounded me.  I felt sorry for them because they were old, and they were frail.  But I wasn’t.  I was strong, and I was a Marine.  I just had this little thing I had to take care of before I could get my life back on track- that perfect life with the loving husband and two little boys- I just had to get better to get back to it.  So imagine my surprise when the chairs were brought out for all the cancer patients and I was offered one.

I’m stubborn, and maybe I think I’m stronger than I am- either way, I was not going to let cancer change the way I saw myself.  And so at least on that day, the chair was an insult.  It was a reminder of my weakness that I had lied to my body about.  Because if I took the chair, I’d be saying I was sick.  If I turned it down, yes it would probably be stupid, but it would tell the world that cancer WAS NOT going to get the best of me.  I don’t know who sat in the chair that was to be mine- I hope it offered them the rest I was too bull-headed to take.  But on that day, I decided to stand.

And three years later I continue to take a stand against cancer by raising money and awareness for the 70,000 young adults, just like me, that are diagnosed with cancer every year.  And I have but two motivations: to make their cancer experience better than mine was, just as those that went before me paved the way for better treatments that I received; and to ensure that, if they need it, they can have my chair.

About The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults

The Mission of the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults is to enhance lives by supporting, educating and connecting young adults, and their loved ones, affected by cancer.
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