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Coping with a parent's cancer diagnosis

amanda.marie
Posts: 3
Joined: Mar 2011

Name: Amanda Wilcher
Title: Miss Orange Blossom’s Outstanding Teen

Education, Outreach, & Advocacy – Relay For Life

About 1.2 million new cancer cases are diagnosed in the U.S. annually and about 564,000 Americans will die of it each year -- more than 1,500 people per day. My dad was fortunately not included in that statistic and has been in remission for two years. As a 13 year old 8th grade student I never thought that my dad, a healthy working Dr. would be diagnosed with cancer. My dad was the person to take care of these people…who was going to take care of him, that is all I remember thinking.

Going through such a traumatic experience at a young age I decided then to actively start educating others by reaching out and sharing my story. Because of organizations like Relay For Life people are becoming more aware of this disease and taking steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Today people are more active and are trying to change their habits and lifestyles to ensure that they reduce their risks of getting cancer.

Together with millions of supporters, the American Cancer Society (ACS) saves lives and creates a world with less cancer and more birthdays by helping people stay well, helping people get well, by finding cures, and by fighting back. This is what I see as my job. As the daughter of a cancer survivor I wanted to help make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering from this disease. Not only does it affect the patient at hand, it affects their children and their families.
I meet with a coordinator for Relay for Life to host meetings with the public who have a family member who is suffering from cancer. We know this is going to be very helpful because the Families and/or children are not forced to go and talk it is something they can choose to come and participate in. Here I am able to share my stories and they have a better understanding of what things they are going to be faced with as well as what feelings they may feel at a young age like I did.
With the title of Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen I will be able to reach not only more families who are going through what I have been through but also reach a lot more people throughout our state. The MAO and MAOT have such a huge following and I know I will be able to accomplish so many of my goals with helping families in need.
I see it as a must that we as local title holders market the program, The Outstanding Teen Organization has allowed me to step out of my shell and become more of a confident young woman. If we share the growth of what this organization can do for its titleholders to all of the counties in our state then we will have more woman wanting to become a part of it which in turn will give each contestant the opportunity to grow her platform as I have done.

Is there anyone else who is going through something with a parent or another member of the family?

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

I am sure you are making your family very proud of you. I lost my husband to cancer almost a year and a half ago. My husband used a walker to get around the track for the survivors lap of Relay for Life just a few months before he passed away. My older granddaughter and I walked last year and will walk this year. Keep up your good works. I know there are others here who have had parents with cancer at a young age. I am sure you will hear from them. Fay

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