With the holiday season fast approaching, we are constantly bombarded from every direction by retailers and I must confess even non-profit organizations, with that “perfect gift” idea for your loved one. Gifts come in many different forms. For some it may be the latest iPad Mini with Retina Display or a Furby Boom figure; yet for others, it could be something as simple as getting to spend time with the ones you love. My dad just turned 80 years old and a group of family and friends gathered to celebrate his life. Literally! You see, earlier in the year, dad was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. As is the case with every cancer diagnosis, our family experienced some very frightening and uncertain days. Yet, as dad stood in front of this party crowd, he shared with us the greatest gift he had received this year. Life!
This notion also struck me a couple of weeks ago while I was watching “Good Morning America” (GMA) and Amy Robach announced that she had breast cancer. That scene will forever be ingrained in my memory because it resonated so closely with the mission of the Kanzius Foundation. At 40 years old, she had never gotten a mammogram before and was not the least bit inclined to get one—after all, cancer did not run in her family. However, on October 1st, GMA producers and even her colleague and two-time cancer survivor Robin Roberts, convinced Robach to get the test done on-air as part of their launch of Breast Cancer Awareness Month claiming that “even if only one life was saved” from Robach doing the test, “it would be worth it.” This statement could not have been farther from the truth. The mammogram showed she had cancer.
While I know it seems strange to associate a breast cancer diagnosis with a gift, in this circumstance, Robach’s early detection was truly a blessing and might just have “saved a life” – hers! In the near future, I pray that the Kanzius Noninvasive Radiowave Cancer Treatment will one be a gift to those in the cancer community – a gift of relief to those who don’t wish to go through the painful side effects of traditional chemotherapy or radiation treatments or the scars of invasive surgeries. I pray it will be the gift of life.
Although Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation focuses on finding “a better way” to treat cancer and encouraging patients who have already been diagnosed, we must not forget those who have yet to discover their disease as well as those who have battled cancer and survived. We must wholeheartedly support, encourage and fight for those who have been affected by cancer. Finding “a better way” is a huge step in the right direction; however, early detection is an equally great step.
When Robach announced her cancer diagnosis, one quote in particular stuck out to me: “I know that I have a fight ahead of me, but I also know that I have a lot worth fighting for.” With that succinct phrase, she not only encompassed what it means to be a part of the cancer community, but also what it means to be a part of our family at the Kanzius Foundation. We know that we have a fight ahead of us to get to human trials and receive FDA approval, but we also know that once we do, our fight will have been well worth it. When the Kanzius Noninvasive Radiowave Cancer Treatment saves that first life, all of our efforts will have been validated. They will have resulted in a gift – the gift of life.
MARK A. NEIDIG SR. is executive director of the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation (MNeidig@Kanzius.org).