Christmas. New Year’s. Birthdays. All special days — days that should fill us with the best emotions life has to offer. Emotions that cannot be bought or quantified. Emotions as essential to us as life itself – peace, joy, and hope—especially hope.
For Andrea Eason, there was a time when the peace of Christmas was taken by the anxiety of test results. The celebration of New Year’s was taken by the raw emotion of a breast cancer diagnosis. The joy of another birthday was taken by an upcoming mastectomy.
Cancer has taken too much. Cancer often takes our sense of peace, our joy. But through the very worst, hope prevails. Hope is stronger than cancer. Even when cancer takes, hope continues to give.
Knowing Andrea is to receive the gift of hope.
In Andrea, other women see a fighter. Someone who refused to think the worst, but chose to live at her best. Someone who battled breast cancer as a single mother while balancing her career as a partner in her accounting firm. Andrea encourages women to do their own research, investigate their best options, and make decisions based on what is best for them. She is someone who handles the uncertainties of life, particularly life with cancer, with grace and courage.
Coach Yow gave us a similar example, fighting cancer with the shield of hope and a sword of grace. She was someone who refused to forfeit the joys of life, even in the most difficult of times, to the unrelenting power of cancer.
In these women we see all that is possible. We see the power of the human spirit and the best that exists in each of us. Watching these incredible women not just survive, but live — this gives us strength, this gives us hope.
And we know, hope cannot be taken. Hope can only be given.
Of course, we know that each diagnosis is different. Each journey contains its own challenges, presents its own battles. Each story starts and ends in a slightly different place. But each journey has the opportunity to generate hope. The kind of hope that can sustain others through the extremes of life. Andrea’s life with cancer generates hope. Long-lasting hope.
There are over 15 million people in the United States living with cancer today. They give us hope. They give each other hope.
Andrea Eason does not believe that her journey with cancer is particularly remarkable. But it is. Andrea’s journey gives hope to others. And giving hope is beyond remarkable – it is extraordinary.
To donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, click here.