by Brandon Borders, development & marketing intern
Things look a lot different today, the last day of my Internship, than they did six years ago.
Six years ago, I was a junior in high school. I played Soccer — the best sport in the world — for Columbia City High School and with a club in Fort Wayne, was involved with church, and had a few good buddies I enjoyed hanging out with. For the most part, I had not a care in the world.
I thought I knew a lot about myself back then. I thought I had it all figured out.
Then came cancer. The nasty disease that you often heard about but never thought would happen to you or your family. Well, it did, when my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer over five years ago.
To be honest, at the time, I didn’t realize the significance of the diagnosis. But throughout her five-year fight, I learned a lot about myself.
Through watching my mom persevere through the journey, celebrating when the cancer seemed to disappear and fearlessly pushing forward when it reappeared, I learned what it meant to fight. Nothing is harder in life than going through Cancer, and I’ve seen no one fight harder than her.
Through generous gifts of meals, money and time from friends and family from across the country and from our local church, I learned the impact of Christ’s love in action.
Through the way my dad took care of mom during her fight, I learned what type of man I could be. I learned by example what it meant to love unconditionally, through “sickness and in health,” a vow I will be making to my soon-to-be-wife.
Through talking with mom just last summer about the possibility of not making it much longer, the difficulty in continuing the fight, and her desire to be with God in heaven, which she did last July.
All of these things and more, in one way or another, led me to pursue an internship at Cancer Services. The impact an organization like Cancer Services can have in a cancer patient’s life is enormous. I learned that from my mom’s life, and realized the importance of Cancer Services on a trip with my Huntington University public relations practicum class last Fall to meet with Amber Recker.
My experience as an Intern here has been more fruitful than I could have ever imagined. It has allowed me to utilize my talents, while fulfilling a deeper inner purpose that I barely knew existed. Everything I have helped accomplish at Cancer Services, whether it be working on e-Carelines or cutting out stencils, makes a difference.
Today, nearly six years after my mom’s initial diagnosis, I am wrapping up my last day at Cancer Services. It is sad, but exciting, as well. A new chapter of life is about to begin, and I’m excited about the person I have become, thankful for the people in my life, and excited about the opportunities to support Cancer Services in the future.
*As an intern at Cancer Services, Brandon was instrumental in designing and implementing our bi-weekly e-newsletter, e-Carelines. He also created a flickr account for the organization and countless graphic elements, including invitations, postcards, agency brochures. He wrote press releases and blog posts and proofed grant proposals and reports. His work here helped further the mission of our organization and gave him insight into what a job in PR/Marketing would be like. He will be missed!
by Dianne May, president & CEO
It happened again. A woman came in yesterday to learn about Cancer Services. She lost her husband a little over two years ago and she is working to make peace with their cancer journey and what has become the new normal in her life.
As our outreach coordinator, Linda, showed her around the building and explained the help and support that is available, a small tear rolled down her cheek. She said no one told them about Cancer Services when they needed it. She saw the warehouse and remembered the precious time she spent finding and figuring out what kind of equipment she needed to make him comfortable at home. She lamented that she didnâ€™t have someone to talk with; someone to whom she could pour out all the emotions swirling inside her. She asked aloud why no one told them about Cancer Services.
There are lots of explanations. Sometimes the focus is on a search for treatment options and clinical trials. Sometimes, people assume if the family has good medical insurance that will take care of everything. Sometimes it simply gets lost in all the information that patients and caregivers receive.
The next time you learn that someone you know has cancer, make it a point to tell them about Cancer Services. They may already know about the help available, but they might not. Be patient and explain the basics. Make sure that they know youâ€™re not talking about a hospital or treatment center. Let them know that there is something for everyone. Itâ€™s not about moneyâ€”how much you have or donâ€™t have. Cancer Services is here because caring people in our community understand what it means to have cancer and they want to help. Compassion, knowledge and support, itâ€™s what Cancer Services does and you can help by telling people where to find it.