…127 Days Until Race Day
Let’s put life into perspective today. To do that, I need to first relay a story of what I witnessed this morning and then introduce you to our childhood cancer warrior.
After my run, I went for a coffee. The lady behind me ordered a spiced flat white. The barista informed her, in a very sorrowful tone, “I’m so sorry. I ran out of spice earlier this morning. I’m a new manager and I’m still learning how much of what to order. I didn’t order enough spice, I guess.”
The customer responds by saying, “You guess you didn’t? You ran out. No, you didn’t order enough. Thank you for ruining my day.”
If your day is ruined because the coffee shop didn’t have spice for your coffee, then you are waaaaaay out of touch with real problems. So, let’s meet today’s cancer warrior and put life into proper perspective.
This is Ben, a 19-year cancer survivor and Snowdrop Foundation college scholarship recipient.
Now 24-years-old, Ben is not only a survivor, he is a history making survivor.
You see, when Ben was 2, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare cancer normally found in the bone but Ben’s was in the soft tissue of his left eye, making him the 3rd person ever with that condition.
After 13-months of treatment, Ewing’s Sarcoma left Ben blind in his left eye.
Here is proper life perspective through Ben’s own words:
“I am now an elementary music teacher and love using my story to help inspire others. I’m quirky, outgoing, love performing, and love making people smile! I give God all the glory.
I am proud of who I am and I am proud of how I look but of course, growing up having to explain why your eye looks different, and even now as an elementary music teacher, it can be difficult. But despite the biggest impact cancer made on me physically, being blind in one eye, despite those times I really didn’t like how I looked, or the stares I got, the biggest impact cancer made on me was more psychological than anything else and here’s how.
I grew up with everyone around me praising me, praying for me, enthusiastically coming over to see me, only to have it trickle away when I became better. Sure people cared for me still, but the only ones who still showed that intense love to me were my parents. Everybody else treated me like a normal healthy individual.
However, that wasn’t “normal” for me. I began to think I had done something wrong, something to lose the affections of other people. It’s truly a darker side of pediatric cancer survivors that no one thinks of. Sure you’ve survived, but you feel lost, and it’s hard to relate to other kids who have no clue of everything you’ve been through.
Through the grace of God and the people He has put in my life, I know I’ve gone through all of this for a reason, and the perspective I had of surviving cancer has made me more of an empathetic person. At the end of the day I had to let go of my identity of “Ben the cancer survivor” to truly live.” – Ben
How’s THAT for proper perspective?!
Today’s run was a sprint workout. 2 mile warm up (in 30 degree temps so I never truly got warm) followed by 10 x’s 1/4 mile. I ran those quarters in 98 seconds each. Then a 1.25 mile cool down.
Ben, we had a good run today, buddy.
Off day tomorrow.