I am here on the steps of the state capital of Mississippi with LIVESTRONG Day 2007 delegates and LIVESTRONG Army Leaders Beth Herring (fallopian tube cancer survivor), Ben Lee (two-time Hodgkin’s Disease survivor), and Cindy McGraw (breast cancer survivor) to present the LIVESTRONG Day 2008 proclamation issued by Governor Haley Barbour. Wewere a small but mighty crowd representing Jackson and raising awareness about cancer and what we can all do to take up the fight. Beth, Ben, andCindy all shared their personal battles with cancer and how those obligation of the cured.” Father Sunds from St. Peter’s Catholic Churchand lung cancer survivor began by leading the crowd in blessing the dayand our efforts. Next we were treated to motivational comments fromMarshall Ramsey, melanoma survivor and editorial cartoonist who is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and whose work is nationally syndicatedin USA Today, Newsweek, and US News and World Reports. Marshall broke down for us what “HOPE” means for him after his cancer experience:
H – Humor: This is a no-brainer as Marshall is a cartoonist, but finding
and using humor for him has been a powerful and empowering tool in
dealing with his diagnosis and survivorship.
O – Opportunity: Marshall has taken the opportunity his cancer
experience has presented to create a community event that has screened
more than 200 people for skin cancer.
P – Physical wellness: Being the father of three sons, Marshall is
motivated like never before to make sure his physical wellness is the
best that it can be so that he can be present and active in his sons’
E- Education: Marshall takes every opportunity (like today) to educate
others about cancer, the risks, how they can prevent it, and how they
can support others who have been affected.
I am honored to have spent the day with the survivors and their friends
and families in Jackson. I can only hope that the other events being
attended by my fellow LAF team members across the country are as moving