Be a part of the solution

ab and dad  I think it may drive my husband nuts, but I am very solution/outcomes driven.

If there’s a problem, let’s fix it. I don’t really want to talk about it, dwell on it or complain about it. I want to fix it. OK, I may complain about things a little but I certainly move on pretty quickly into “fix it” mode.

One of my closest friends jokes that I’m like a man in that way. He said one of the “men are from Mars, women are from Venus” things comes out when it comes to approaching problems. A man focuses on fixing it (that’s in their stereotypical nature, fixing things, right?) And a woman instead, if we are sticking to stereotypes, wants to talk about it, analyze it.

Not me. FIX IT!

But sometimes the problems seem so huge it is hard to see the solution or how you can be a part of it.

ab dad dance

Cancer.

The word makes me and pretty much everyone else angry, sick and sad.

I lost my dad to that six-letter word more than two years ago. He lost his battle at 56, less than a year after he was diagnosed. I was four months into my pregnancy (with the first grandchild for my dad) and so often gaze at Miles imagining how great of a grandfather my dad would have been. His wish was to teach his grandkids how to throw a curve ball and write a Haiku, such a perfect depiction of who my dad was.

So I would do just about anything to be a part of solving a problem that took one of the coolest people I know from this earth way too soon. I don’t want others to have to have wishes like that of my dad’s that went unfulfilled.

But many look at cancer and think, “what a huge problem, what could little old me have to do with fixing it?” Well there’s a couple different ways – take care of yourself so you limit your chances of being affected by the terrible disease.

Get involved in things like the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. Events across the tri-state are coming up. To find out more or to donate visit www.cancer.org, and look for an event in your area. It is a great way to help raise money for the organization (that does research and provides programming and support for those battling the disease) and it is also a way to raise awareness about the disease and things you can do to prevent it. And you are showing support for those battling cancer or those who have lost loved ones to it.

I was involved in Anderson’s (the community I recently moved from) Relay for Life as a member of the planning committee last year and for much of this year, and as team captain of The Herald Bulletin’s team (my former newspaper).

But I just discovered an even more satisfying way to get involved; and there’s still time for those in the Evansville area to do it too. ACS is looking for volunteers (anyone from 30 to 65 never diagnosed with cancer) to participate in Cancer Prevention Study-3. Previous forms of this study are what discovered and proved the direct link between smoking and lung cancer.

The commitment is minimal – filling out a survey online that took about 20 minutes, a simple blood test and waist measurement at the testing site and a 15 minute phone, mailed or online survey every few years to update information. That’s it!ab dad and sarah

In the Evansville area you have three days to get involved – today, Wednesday and Thursday. Just visit www.seeuthere.com/cps3enroll/southwestin to find out how to enroll.

We’ve all lost loved ones to this terrible disease. My dad wasn’t the first, but I hope he will be the last. And I will continue to do all I can to make that a reality.

I’ll be at the downtown YMCA for my enrollment at 8:30 tomorrow. Hope you get involved too!

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