Thanks to our 2017 Hero of Hope, Kaliko Adams, for sharing his message of Hope this morning. You can be a part of our global awareness efforts by joining us at a Relay For Life event. Find an event in your community by visiting us at relay.org.
On this Valentines Day, we thought we would share with you a heartfelt story from Maui. Brian Burns began his Spirit of Survival walk in honor of his sisters and to support the mission of the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk of Hawaii. Here is his story in his words.
“My life has forever been altered due to the disease of breast cancer. I have had three sisters whom I love dearly suffer with breast cancer. I have witnessed the devastating affect that it takes on those you love physically, mentally and emotionally. I have witnessed how this awful disease ravages the body and spirit. I have also witnessed hope and recovery. I have witnessed the strength and virtue it takes to fight the disease and live life as best you can with dignity and grace. For too many it takes their lives. My sister Susan Burns fought a courageous battle and was taken by the disease in 2000. My sister Eileen Burns fought a courageous battle and was taken by this disease in 2012. There is also hope. My sister Maureen Covell has fought a courageous battle, she was diagnosed in 2010; she has been a survivor for 6 years. I have faith that we can find a cure. The American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer funds cancer research and patient services in Hawaii. In an effort to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, find a cure and help those affected by the disease I created a (feeder) walk against breast cancer on Maui. As a resident I saw the need to create one in our community to have an opportunity to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer , bring hope and Honor of my sisters courageous battle.”
You can join in our mission to save lives by signing up for the 2017 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. www.makingstrideswalk.org/hawaii or with Brian on Maui at http://mauispiritofsurvivalwalk.com/
Share the love – save lives.
Heroes of Hope are cancer survivors or caregivers who have demonstrated a commitment to the American Cancer Society’s mission of saving lives from the disease. As highly visible symbols of a personal victory over cancer, they share their personal stories in a variety of settings to motivate others to fight back against the disease.
Our 2017 Heroes of Hope are Kaliko Adams (Caregiver – Hawaii) and Frankie Perez (Survivor – Guam).
Kaliko’s mother was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer when he was just eight years old. Despite learning about cancer through his mother’s fight, he stayed strong and did his best to support his mother during her fight. Even when times were tough, and the prospects seemed bad, Kaliko and his family never gave up hope. His mother entered remission the following year and has been cancer free since. Kaliko has started his own team, bringing his high school friends into the Relay fold and starting a team that has still run after he graduated.
My connection to cancer has always been personal. It began with my grandparents – I lost two grandparents to cancer and I have a cousin who was diagnosed with cancer as a kid. In 2013, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer – thankfully, it was caught early – and we celebrated her triumph over cancer at the 2014 Relay For Life. We formed a team, “It’s A Family Affair” to give back to the American Cancer Society. I walked with my mom in her first survivor victory lap that year… as her caregiver, without thinking that someday I might be a survivor too.
For more information on our Relay For Life events and how you can participate, log on to www.relayforlife.org or contact your local American Cancer Society office.