Making Progress Cancer Reflections: Fighting the “Big C”

Published: 09.10.2022 13:00:27

Modified: 09.10.2022 13:00:16

Cancer is a word that our family and friends have sadly heard forever.

Cancer, or “The Big C” as we often call it, has stolen my time with loved ones for as long as I can remember. From a young age I felt helpless.

The helplessness slowly began to wear off when I was in my teens and in college by participating in fundraisers of all kinds. This certainly helped soften the blow of not being able to cure cancer as I knew I was helping in some way although I still wanted to do more.

After starting my professional career at NHTI, Concords Community College as Student Activity Director, I was able to further develop my expertise in event planning. Beginning in the early 2000’s, I was part of a large group of people who successfully moved the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event from Concord’s Memorial Field to the NHTI. During this process, our family was dealt another major blow by cancer. Our uncle was diagnosed and would soon die at the young age of 50.

This has only fueled my desire and that of our family and friends to pursue a healing in a meaningful way. We all formed a team and raised a lot of money for cancer research on behalf of our uncle. Throughout the process, we couldn’t help but meet and learn about each other’s stories and how similar they were to ours. They were also too familiar with “The Big C” and understood the idea that the face of cancer could continue to change, the same problem remains: Although treatments are getting better, we still don’t have a cure.

Fast forward a few more years and I met my wife-to-be only to find that she has some similar stories as well as my current mother-in-law who battled breast cancer. It’s clear she hasn’t been through it alone, from the great treatment she received to the support from family. There was cancer again. After my mother-in-law was declared a survivor, we began participating in several high-impact breast cancer fundraisers, including the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Boston.

We did it religiously for a few years and then life got in the way and we stopped doing it.

Well, a few years ago a good friend and mentor was diagnosed with breast cancer. This would be her third cancer diagnosis in as many years. Here was “The Big C” once again, impacting someone who already dealt with enough health issues. This once again kindled the fire in me to act. I started by participating in the American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink campaign, wearing some pink every day during October to raise awareness while raising funds for cancer research. This time I involved more people and enlisted the support of many colleagues as well.

Through this campaign, I met some more passionate people and got reconnected to the Making Strides event in Concord, knowing it’s a nationwide way to bring advocates and survivors together. They are people like me, my family and my friends who are searching for better treatments and the ultimate cure from cancer. Today I joined the Executive Leadership Council for Making Strides, will move on and continue the Real Men program. You see, it’s the continued fight that is the only way to beat cancer.

Today, more than ever, I am committed to finding a cure for cancer as I celebrate all of our loved ones who survived. I hope you join this fight on the NH Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk.

Consistency matters.

Chuck Lloyd of Bow is President of White Mountains Community College.

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