Monday, September 12, 2011

More than Just Numbers

This past weekend was a big weekend. It was the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks against the US in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.

On September 11, 2001 I sat on my living room couch in our small basement apartment and watched the events of the morning unfold. Dude was 18 months old I was pregnant with Crafty. Mr. Awesome was working in Northern Manitoba and as soon as I heard about the first plane I called him to see if he was watching the news. We sat on the phone together for more than three hours, mostly in stunned silence as we watched plane hit building, people running into the streets, people jumping from buildings and finally, we watched as the World Trade Centre fell.

2, 977 people died that day. Office workers, delivery people, tourists, police officers, fire fighters, rescue workers ... people just going about their days, doing their jobs. People who never suspected that September 11, 2001 would be their last day. People we never knew but people we'll never forget.

This weekend was also a big deal for this Random Family because we took part in Dragonboat Races. Mr. Awesome is on a Dragonboat Team, Blew By U. He spends the year rasing money with his teammates for the Canadian Cancer Society and every year on the weekend after September long weekend he races for a cure. 130 teams participate in this weekend. Its a competition but it is also a weekend to celebrate those who have fought, won and lost battles with cancer.

In 2011, it is predicted that 70,000 people in Canada will die from cancer and cancer related illness. More than 170,00 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year. Office workers, delievery people, teachers, bus drivers, rescue personnel, mothers, fathers, friends, children ... people we know ... people we love ... people we will never forget.

As we stood on the banks of Lake Shirley on Sunday afternoon and paid tribute to those fighters we have all known and lost, I thought about the global televised event that was taking place at the same time, the 9/11 memorial service. I thought about the contrast, the millions of viewers commemorating 3,000 lives and the few hundred paddlers and spectators remembering the thousands of lives lost every years.

I'm not saying that there was anything wrong with the way any of those lives were remembered, the numbers just got to me. What got to me more was knowing that in a year from now the lives lost on 9/11/2001 will be the same but tens of thousand will be added to the number of lives that cancer has stolen.

If you want to help out, if you want to stand with those who are fighting personal cancer battles, if you want to be added to the list of cure-finders please give. Donate, Fundraise, Join a Team ...

Canadian Cancer Society

If children have the ability to ignore all odds and percentages, then maybe we can all learn from them. When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.
~Lance Armstrong

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