A lost friend

This past week I lost a friend that was in my graduating high school class to a motorcycle accident. I am still in some shock from the whole situation. Although him and I had not been in touch in nearly two years it was an experience that opened my eyes.

I found out around 5 a.m. on a Wednesday morning through Facebook when I was getting ready to go to my internship. Immediately after hearing the news I rushed to my parents house in a daze. I did not even know what to say, I am usually not the person at a loss for words. I was feeling an array of emotions I still can’t seem to explain to anyone, not even myself.

The first memory that came to my mind was the “date” he and I shared in 6th grade to the movies with his parents. His blue eyes looked at me at the end of the movie and told me he loved me. That memory makes me grin every time. He was a lover, even at the age of 12. The next memory was of me and my good friend riding on the back of he and his best friends motorcycles. The memory was so vivid and I felt like we had just been riding with them the night before. That was the last time I saw him. It was about two years ago and the night before he went away to a motorcycle mechanic program in Arizona.

I went to the visitation on Friday night and it felt surreal. So many grieving friends and family members for the young life lost. While I was waiting in the line at the funeral home that night with some old friends we discussed how he was the nicest person and never had enemies. He was a kind person to everyone he met.

After this experience I have realized that I have changed because of it. I want to live to make smart decisions and enjoy each day with happiness. I’m going to try to quit stressing over all the small things and take more risks to ensure the fullest life possible. I know that he would want all of his old friends to be happy and live full lives.

He will always be remembered for his big blue eyes and his caring ways. He had the kindest heart of anyone I knew. He was taken from us too soon but as the saying goes, only the good die young. RIP old friend.

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Pancreatic cancer takes another life

Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder and board chairman, lost his battle to pancreatic cancer last week. He enriched the lives of millions through technologies that would cease to exist without him. Jobs was a great visionary and will not be forgotten.

While October is breast cancer awareness month, November is the month to raise awareness about pancreatic cancer. So many Americans are unaware of how deadly this disease is and I don’t know why there is not more attempts to raise awareness. We have lost not only role models like Jobs to pancreatic cancer but Patrick Swayze died from it as well as Farrah Faucet.

A more personal lost for me was my grandma, Elenore Jane Adelhardt. She was my role model and had such an impact on my life. A few years after my grandma passed, we found out that my aunt was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was in absolute shock and terrified that my family would lose another loved one to the silent killer. Luckily the Mayo clinic was able to remove half of her pancreas. The only reason they found it was because she was getting her Gall Bladder removed.  She is still surviving today but has good and bad days. As of right now another tumor had grown after the surgery, but has not grown in over a year.

I miss my grandmas kind words and smiling face more and more everyday. I am thankful that my aunt has fought so hard to survive but I feel like I need to dedicate some of my time to help raise awareness of this disease that kills mothers, grandmothers, fathers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.

 

Some Facts

Pancreatic cancer killed nearly 37,000 Americans in 2010 alone. The survival rate is still in the single digits.

Out of the top 5 killing cancers, it is the least funded.

4th leading cause of cancer related death in the United States

 

Awareness needs to be raised about this terrible disease and I hope everyone participates in something next month to help the cause.