August 1990 was supposed to be a great month. I was scheduled to leave for the University of Florida in Gainesville to start college. My best friend throughout high school was my roommate. Most of my closest friends were also all going to UF. However, two days before I was supposed to leave for school, I was given my cancer diagnosis. I had family, friends, a huge support group, and possibly one of the best oncologists in the country at my disposal. Fast forward to April 1991, and I was given my “Clean Bill of Health” in the weeks leading up to my 19th birthday. Really fast forward – 20 years to be exact – and I am exactly in a place God wanted me all along.
I chose to celebrate 20 years of clean cancer living by going big at Ironman Louisville, and by joining Team Fight to raise money for young adults struggling through this terrible disease themselves. One thing I have learned is that we are all put here on this earth by God to support the rest of His children. He grants each of us passions that cause our hearts to stir. It is then up to us to act on those passions and make not only our lives better, but, the lives of those around us better as well. As I have learned this, that tells me that August 1990 truly was a great month. I learned how to fight that month.
I FIGHT because that is all I have known for the last 20 years.
I FIGHT because God gives us all a mission.
I FIGHT because I am blessed to be a survivor, and I do not want to disgrace those still fighting by sitting on the sidelines.
I FIGHT…. because I CAN!
~ David Naelon