It was 14 years ago that I was diagnosed with leukemia. At that time I had a wife and two children: a boy, 7, and a girl, 3. Later, with a “green light” from my doctor, we chose to have a third child.
I have previously written about how to tell your spouse, children, and co-workers about your diagnosis. But this time I wanted to share not my perspective, but rather, one of theirs.
I was very much touched this past weekend when I received a solicitation letter from my eldest child, Ari. He’s the 7-year-old who is now 20 and a sophomore at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is very devoted to the American Cancer Society’s “Relay for Life,” and he will be participating at college this Spring.
Here’s an excerpt from the letter he sent out far and wide to raise funds for the ACS:
“…why exactly am I involved in Relay? Well, it is much more than just wanting to have a huge sleepover with hundreds of my peers. I really feel strongly about being involved in this event because I have known many people close to me who have been touched by cancer. The foremost person in my father, Andrew Schorr. When I was just elementary school age I was faced with the reality that my dad had Leukemia. At the time I really did not know what to think, but the idea of not having my dad for the rest of my life scared the crap out of me. Thankfully, by the blessing of God, my dad has reached 'molecular remission' due to an amazing clinical trial. Today, with the biggest heart of anyone I know, my father has gone about trying to bring the best information to patients just like himself. I hope to contribute, even if in a small way, to help people afflicted with cancer just like my dad.”
Wow! This brought home to me the loved one’s perspective on our journey as patients. It is especially satisfying when a negative diagnosis can be turned into a positive.
I know this happens time and again but I had to share my pride in my son. I sent him a significant contribution and hope I can for many, many years to come!