by Abby Milloy
Team LIVESTRONG has a long-standing tradition of making “bibs” and dedicating our athletic accomplishments to the people in our lives who have been affected by cancer. If I made a bib to honor every person who has contacted me for cancer support since I started working at the Foundation, they would cover 514 Team LIVESTRONG T-shirts from front to back.
This figure carries a heavy weight. On the one hand, it represents 6,171 too many people who faced a cancer diagnosis and had the unfortunate need for our services. On the other hand, it means those same people got access to support during their time of need. I refuse to imagine a world where a cancer diagnosis is not followed by access to support. Team LIVESTRONG shares this sentiment and takes action, mile by mile, to ensure no one faces cancer alone. This year, I’m honored to run the Chicago Bank of America Marathon—my first ever—with Team LIVESTRONG alongside cancer survivors, fighters, and their loved ones.
My work as a LIVESTRONG Navigator is not done in isolation. I am only able to offer a patient access to clinical trials and medical guidance because a Team LIVESTRONG member asked neighbors and coworkers to donate every time he/she hit the pavement. Free counseling is available through our navigation services because guests at a dinner party were encouraged to donate to the marathon fundraising efforts of their Team LIVESTRONG host in lieu of bringing dessert.
Whenever I think the need for cancer support seems overwhelming, I remember that we have a choice to make every single day. We can sit idly by and hope for the best, or we can fight. We can ensure that everyone who faces a cancer diagnosis gets access to support services they need. We can run.
I hope you’ll run with me in Chicago.
P.S. If you or anyone you know needs cancer support in Chicago, I am here to help. Call me at 773.272.3777 or visit us online at www.livestrong.org/wecanhelp.