A few weeks ago, I attended Yoga For Hope at Petco Park in San Diego. The event raises awareness about the benefits of yoga practice for cancer patients and survivors and raises funds for City of Hope.
I was excited to participate because it Incorporated two of my favorite things- spreading awareness for cancer treatments and yoga!
There were several moments that were truly inspiring and made me think quite a bit about my journey.
There was a young adult survivor who discussed her story and how it led her to a career in nursing. One statement she made, and is quoted in the title of this post, is “Cancer changed me, but for the better.“, is something I have heard many survivors say and I’ve often said myself. It’s hard to understand sometimes, but this journey through cancer and survivorship makes many of us who we are today. I would not be as strong or resilient without cancer. I would not have a wonderful group of friends and family around me either.
But, the MOST inspiring moment of all involved bells. When we arrived, they handed out bells to everyone. As the event began they asked each person to ring their bell when they were able to answer yes. And so the questions began:
- If you are currently battling cancer, please ring your bell- We heard a few soft bells at this point and I immediately knew I was in the right place for this event.
- If you have been in remission for 6 months- More bells
- If you have been in remission for 6 months to 1 year- Even more bells
- If you have been a survivor for 1 year to 5 years- Even more!
- If you are a survivor of more than 5 years- Even more (and my turn)!
- And then, if you have been a caregiver or friend or family member of a patient or survivor- More bells! And an overwhelming wave of hundreds of people in one place for the same reason.
The sound of all of these bells ringing for people touched by cancer was an enormous wave. It gave me chills and was a wonderful moment!
And today, I write this blog, 12 years cancer free, and grateful for events like Yoga for Hope and the people who have helped me reach this milestone.