There are 14.4 million cancer survivors in the United States1. That’s a BIG number! But, some may ask, “How many people died of cancer?” Well, as one vehicle donor recently told me, “you can focus on the gloom, or the hope” and we’re focusing on the HOPE. After all, it’s why we’re in the business – taking vehicle donations for charities that work to make life better, healthier, fuller.
Last week I was fortunate enough to speak with Beverly (Bella) Harris, one of the 14 million U.S. survivors. And, although I haven’t met all survivors, I can say she is the epitome of Hope. Bella bravely witnessed many loved ones battle cancer, some winning their fight while others did not. She also successfully endured her own battle and was left with more courage and Hope than she ever thought possible.
Once a bottom-line businesswoman, she was laid-off from her corporate job during her treatment. It was then she realized her dream of becoming an educator to special need students and discovered she now had the time to obtain that degree and certification. Today, Bella is completely dedicating her life to serving children with special needs and the families that love them.
Bella attributes her new life to her difficult health journey. She sees her struggle as a forced pause where instead of being scared she would lose life, she enveloped herself in the possibilities ahead of her and everything she could do when she was healed. She was granted that chance to continue and is now working harder than ever, but enjoying it more than she imagined. Because of her struggle, she is able to help her students and their families realize and attain what they might have seen as impossible. Bella is driven by Hope, and transfers to her students the Hope of development, empowerment, independence, and success. A gift she could not so fully share had it not been for her personal struggle.
Yes, she is fully aware that nothing about tomorrow is guaranteed, but instead of squandering today in fear, she does the most she can today. Our conversation put into perspective my own fears and worries…and how I am spending my time. It made me realize how paralyzing fear is…and that Hope is the perfectly fitted prosthetic. Hope is what keeps us donating to support the search for cures, ways to heal, and comfort.
Throughout our conversation, Bella continued to comment on the beauty of life around her, and her gratitude for the chance to move forward and share her gifts. She pulled me into her world where I could feel her arsenal of Hope that includes strength, energy, power, and warmth.
Recently, as part of her arsenal of Hope, Bella donated her car to the American Cancer Society which was turned into valuable funding for cancer research, resources, and education. And, just like Bella, it WILL make a difference!
If you would like to make a difference by donating your vehicle, start by clicking here.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service.
1 (as of January 1, 2104) American Cancer Society. Cancer Treatment and Survivorship Facts & Figures 2014-2015. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2014