About five years ago, my dad lost his voice, a side effect from lung cancer.
While my dad's voice became a barely audible whisper, I found ways to develop mine as a means to overcome the helplessness I felt:
- By projecting my frustrations at a nurse, who failed to properly discharge my dad after a week-long stay at the hospital and left a large needle in his port;
- By befriending a palliative care doctor I met near "the End," who provided comfort to my dad during his last days;
- By screaming in a hallway at Cedars Sinai when my dad's oncologist informed me the fight was over;
- By making the painful decision to place my dad in hospice at my home.
When my dad passed, I felt like what was left of my voice died along with him.
And then I found the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN).
Through ACS CAN, I slowly regained my voice as my dad's advocate: I have sent messages to my lawmakers, speaking out against proposals to cut funding for cancer research; I have met with lawmakers in Sacramento to lobby for cancer-related legislation; I have collected signatures for cancer campaigns.
Through ACS CAN, I have met cancer survivors, health professionals, and others who have also lost loved ones to this terrible disease. Together, we impact the future of cancer by rallying to demand change from our elected officials. Together, we are united in our voices to make cancer a national priority.
On May 16, I will be honoring my dad's five-year death anniversary. Please join me in honoring my dad by donating to ACS CAN.
By doing so, you will help ensure that my voice, and the voices of other ACS CAN volunteers, are heard in our communities, in the State Capitol and in the halls of Congress.