Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 41

TEEN CANCER AMERICA

Teen Cancer America partners with hospitals throughout the United States to develop specialized facilities and services
for teens and young adults with cancer.
They build teen-friendly environments,
enhancing the hospital experience. They
develop standards for age-targeted care,
improve collaboration between pediatric
and adult specialists and enable dedicated research to improve outcomes and
survival for our young people.

could have ever imagined.
Cancer changes people. It
sculpts us into someone
who understands more
deeply, hurts more
often, appreciates
more quickly, hopes
more desperately, loves
more deeply, and lives
more passionately. At
this point, all I can ask is
for whoever is (still) reading
this, to simply take a second to
smile and give yourself a minute to
truly reflect on all the good in your life right
now. Appreciate the things you might overlook:
food, a roof over your head, a job, or even the
struggle you're going through, appreciate it.
Remember to appreciate your family and friends.
Call them to tell them you love them, even if it
wakes them up. Nothing could nor will compete
with love, ever. Life will continue to throw curveballs at you, don't fight them, it's only going to
waste energy. Have the strength and willingness
to see them, accept them, then react to them. 
A lot has changed since January 20th, 2011
- whether it was a happy day or a monumental milestone: I graduated high school, I've
jumped off cliffs, I've gotten tattoos (sorry
dad), I popped champagne in Vegas for my
21st birthday, I've drank hand grenades on
Bourbon Street for NYE, I've explored the
tropical adventures of Costa Rica, I've sung
Sweet Home Alabama more than I can count,
I've lost my voice at half a dozen chainsmokers

concerts, I've gotten blisters from walking the
grounds of a music festival, I adopted the most
perfect pup, I gained friends that are like sisters,
I had the best undergraduate experience and
graduated college (roll tide), I've had my heart
broken, I've loved, I've watched the sun set and
rise over the Pacific Ocean countless times, I've
met people that have impacted my journey in
the most unexpected and astounding of ways;
I've done and felt things that were never on my
radar or seen as plausible a decade ago. Today is
a reminder for me how incredibly fast life can
change. Even after 12 full months of chemotherapy, a total hip/femur/knee replacement,
plus 10 " maintenance " and reconstruction
surgeries since 2011, a relapse of the cancer in
my lung that resulted in the removal of most
of that lung... I'm here and I'm officially 7 years
cancer free! 
Life is an endless journey, don't forget to
enjoy all of the joys it brings and also all of the
strength it can give you when facing trials or
hardships. As I often say, " just keep movin on
- movin on this crazy rollercoaster journey I
like to call life " (as poppa Newman never fails
to remind me: " it's not just life, it's not just love;
what is it? It's REAL. Real love, real life, don't
ever forget that " ) - cheers to today, to tomorrow,
and to every blessing along the way. 
" It always protects, always trusts, always
hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But
where there are prophecies, they will cease;
where there are tongues, they will be stilled;
where there is knowledge, it will pass away. "
(1 Corinthians 13:7-8) l

Photo: Courtesy of Teen Cancer America

thing in life starts with you,
and ends with you. I don't
care what your circumstances are, you still
are in charge of how
you react to whatever
those circumstances
may be. Reality is,
no one can make you
move, no one can make
you " willing " . In my opinion, that's a pretty astounding power we possess as
humans. I reiterate the point that it's
all completely circumstantial. Life isn't fair
(I think we can all agree on that statement now
more than ever as we endure this pandemic). We
all face different hardships and misfortune, but
no matter what adversity you may be facing, you
still have the power to react to that circumstance,
always. That power will never disappear. What
I've realized, though, is the fact that we must
identify and acknowledge these circumstances
in order to even begin to have this willingness
to react. Don't ever forget the power of the mind
and the the power of positivity. I hope you all
read this and remember to be grateful for this
moment, for your heart beating, and for the exact
circumstance that God has specifically put you
in right now... because even though it may seem
like the end of the world, it was actually meant to
be specifically for you. He doesn't make mistakes,
and I pray that each of you stay strong each and
every day with the knowledge that He has created
a plan for you that is greater than anything you

Calling Out Cancer

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who are the driving force behind Teen
Cancer America. After over a decade working with Teenage Cancer Trust in the
UK, the duo decided to bring their passion across the pond in 2012 and make a
difference in the lives of teens and young adults with cancer in the United States.
www.teencanceramerica.org

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2021

41


http://www.teencanceramerica.org http://www.ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM

Elephants And Tea - March 2021

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