My Story for The Pink Arrow Project in Lowell
This story originally ran in the Lowell Ledger and Buyers Guide.
As part of our annual Pink Arrow effort, the local paper(s) publish stories
of Lowell folks who have been affected by cancer. (They also have
stories of other people who are dealing with grief at Gilda's Club.)
Anyway - they were nice enough to let me tell my story - here it is:
The Pink Arrow Project was the brain child of one Noel Dean, the varsity football coach at Lowell High School. He noticed how many families in the community were being hit with cancer and he decided his team, the Red Arrows, could turn their uniforms and name to pink for one game in the season and use the money raised to help local people in the fight. If you want to appreciate what "Pink Arrow" has done, spend a few minutes doing an internet search on the subject. Be prepared, get a box of tissues. The results in Lowell are fantastic and the concept has been copied and modified all around the country.
Our weekly newspaper honors the Pink Arrow effort every year by telling the stories of survivors. Here is my version as printed in the Lowell Ledger:
Before we get into the nasty particulars of my trip to Dr. Bott's Weight Loss Camp - I want to acknowledge the power of community. Lowell and the Pink Arrow Project are truly a force to be reckoned with. Frankly I hope no one reading this will ever have to experience the wallop of cancer and the counter-punch of the care and concern of the people that make up the Pink Arrow Nation (PAN). While we were happy to support Pink Arrows with t-shirt purchases and by selling a Pink Arrowbead in our jewelry store, I never dreamed of being the beneficiary of Pink Arrow gift cards or the outpouring of support from the people of Lowell.
Were it not for the support of my wife Julie, our dog Otter, and the PAN, I probably would not be sitting here typing this message. I tried to represent the community support that sustained me by spreading out a sample of the cards on the table when Dan took our picture for this story.
The diagnosis of cancer was a real kidney punch. How in the heck could a non-smoker be hit with throat cancer? Lesson #1 - Cancer is a cheating SOB and does not play fair.
Don’t I know it.