This year I turned 40! And to celebrate, my family and I went on vacation. The last time big vacation I had was five years ago, which might as well have been a lifetime ago. That was before cancer became CANCER. My mother wouldn’t be diagnosed until later that year. And my best friend’s mom was still alive. My life changed dramatically after that trip. But while I strolled the streets of Paris and Madrid with my Mom, life was as close to perfect as it gets.
My mother had never been to Europe before 2008, and she was excited to see all the major sites. Our first night in Paris, we made our way to the Eiffel Tower, and returned every night we were there. She loved the buzz of activity and the people-watching. Me, I loved sitting by the Seine, eating crepes! As much as she liked Paris, though, it was nothing compared to Madrid. She fell in love hard and fast with the capital of Spain and walked me up and down every city street until I passed out from exhaustion. I had never seen anything capture my mother’s imagination like that city did, and I remember feeling so grateful that I was able to share it with her.
Five years later my mother is still here, thanks to amazing medical care, extraordinary family and friends, and the LIVESTRONG Foundation. In some of my darkest moments, they provided guidance that helped us ask the right questions, navigate all of our options and get my mom the best care possible. Cancer fighters and survivors are at the heart of the Foundation and all the work they do, as it should be. And this year, as a testament to my commitment to cancer advocacy, I became a member of the LIVESTRONG Leaders program. No matter whatever else happens, I will always be grateful to the LIVESTRONG Foundation for that support.
For the 5th straight year, I am going to ride 20 miles as part of the LiveStrong Challenge – Philadelphia. And for the 2nd year in a row, I am going to walk the 5k with my mom. Eight-two cents of every dollar goes to support programs and services for those affected by cancer like the Navigation Center or Camp Kesem for children whose parents are fighting cancer. You have been an important part of my journey, and I hope I can continue to count on your support. If you would like to make a donation, please visit my LiveStrong Challenge page.
Thank you for your ongoing support.
Till cancer is no more,
Hermana Aimee R. Thorne-Thomsen