In 1997 my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I thought that was my first experience with cancer; however, I found out that in 1978 I had lost my maternal grandfather from lung and colon cancer. My maternal grandmother had been diagnosed with breast cancer in the 80’s and likely passed from ovarian cancer in 1989. Back then you did not talk about cancer, you barely whispered it or called it the ‘C’ word. In 1998 an aunt and a cousin were diagnosed with breast cancer. Later a paternal aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and a paternal uncle was diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Cancer made me angry. In 2001, I wanted to do something and needed to find an outlet to channel my anger. I called our area American Cancer Society office and found out I could come by this “event” called Relay. I was told if I could stay up all night, they would find something for me to do. My daughter and I attended our first Relay For Life event and I have not looked back.
My mom lost her battle in August 2002. I was just beginning to understand what the American Cancer Society was about and how crucial research was. The hospital asked if we would like to donate her body to research. Instead of donating her body, I agreed to donate some tissue to research so that my mom could help in some way. I knew I had found my way to make a difference through Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society.
My name is Chris Doe. I live in DeKalb, Illinois with my husband Ryan. We have a “floating RV” named Kickin’ It that is our home away from home. My favorite place to visit is Disney World in Florida – it is my happy place.