I've recently become very involved in an organization called Spirit Jump.
I've decided to tell you my reasons for Spirit Jumping and why I feel so connected to these people, why I feel such a pull on my heartstrings to participate.
First I have to tell you what Spirit Jump is though. It's a blog created by two beautiful women, Meaghan and Stacy, who have faced the trials of cancer. They put together this organization which works to send things to people going through cancer to brighten their day and give them a "Spirit Jump!" People send things ranging from gifts down to a card with a simple message. Nothing is too small.
So now why I do this.
I Spirit Jump because I've had Cancer impact the lives of both family and close friends.
I've seen firsthand the devastation it can cause a person and their families.
Cancer is a horrible thing that takes the lives of many people each year. I have been fortunate enough to know numerous wonderful people who within the last 2 years have lost their battle.
I am Spirit Jumping in celebration of their lives.
I lost my aunt Anne Hett, to lung cancer in November of 2007.
I lost my friends Jesse Rios, at 61
Teri Allmeroth, at 58 both to liver cancer in 2008.
It's always the greatest news when a call comes and the word remission comes out of a loved one's mouth.
I am Spirit Jumping for the ones who have come out on top.
My Dad was diagnosed with melanoma. Growing up, that's exactly what it was referred to, melanoma. A while after his surgery the more general name came to be. Cancer. He's now completely cancer free.
My Grandfather had colon cancer. He went through a brutal struggle and still today has to deal with many of the after effects. He can say though that he is cancer free.
One of my best friends, Airielle, only 16 at the time, was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Lukemia (AML). She is now 18-years-old and a proud survivor of the disease.
My middle school PE teacher, Scott Hudson, last year at 50-years-old, after losing his home to a roaring fire in our town, was diagnosed with Esophageal
As much as I hate to say it, too many people take their health for granted. There are many who face this lack of health everyday and are still within the struggle, the fight, to get back to life without cancer.
I'm Spirit Jumping in my love and support for the ones battling everyday.
Laurel is a friend who's always been more like family. She's been there for me my entire life and been in the struggle through cancer for much of her life. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and went into remission. But the cancer came back, this time in her ribs. She is a hero of mine, I didn't know it was possible to be so brave while dealing with something so horrible. I look up to her in many ways and am anxiously awaiting the day she is able to say that there is no more cancer.
Very few people go through their entire lives without ever being touched or hearing the word Cancer. It's a sadness for some, and an unknown for many. But I believe there are many efforts that can be made in order to fight back.
I am a passionate believer that there is Hope for the future and that no one should have to go through this alone.