This summer has been a huge learning experience for me working at the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults. One thing I’ve noticed, and I’m sure its been said before, is there is never a shortage of inspiration working here. If inspiration had to be bought like gas at a gas station, then working at UCF is like being a gas-free car; there has not been one moment where I’ve needed to stop and re-fuel. (Cheesy, I know, but it’s the best I could come up with!)
In fact, everyday I find inspiration when I walk into the kitchen of our office and pass by the Why We Fight wall. For those of you who don’t know what this is, it is a wall of our office that is covered by a blackboard. In a rainbow of colors, various names of those we fight for have been written. And in addition to all the chalked names, there are letters and magnets and newspaper articles and photos all coming back to why we fight. I don’t know many of these people. In fact, I know very few of these people.
But, wait, is that true? Because even though I didn’t write it, I know the Grandpa written on the board. It could have just as easily been my hand that wrote “my future children”. And, if it weren’t already there, I would have written my Nana’s name (in pink too, just like the lipstick she loves so much!). I know not one of these names written on this wall, but I know all of them and they are Why We Fight.
On August 19th I will be participating in the Iron Girl triathlon, not for the first time, but for the first time with more people to fight for then ever before. I thought I was motivated last summer, having dedicated my triathlon to all four of my grandparents who have all faced cancer in one of its many faces, but this summer I’m finding myself surrounded by even more people to fight for and even more reasons to get out there and do my best.
I will be fighting for my grandparents, the ones who have survived the toughest battle of their lives, and those who haven’t, because they are the strongest people I know. I will be fighting for all of the names on the Why We Fight wall and for all the names that are not, because everyone should have support. This is why I fight.