By Leesa Gabel

In life, it’s very important to have support….to be supported.

The fourth anniversary of my cancer diagnosis is fast approaching. Since May 2008, I have discovered who my true supporters are….the people I know I can turn to at any time….the people who make up my support network. Sadly, I have also discovered who isn’t a supporter. Surprisingly, it’s people that I spent years of my life with, shared intimately personal moments in my life with who weren’t there when I needed them the most.

I have been blessed beyond words by complete strangers. One blessing that quickly comes to mind is the handmade quilt that the mother of the young woman who shaved my head when I first lost my hair to chemo made for me. I think of her fondly every time I see the quilt and I say a quick prayer of thanks to God for bringing her into my life.

Then of course there are the financial supporters who have blessed us. Not for our family personally, thankfully we’ve not needed that kind of financial support through this experience. I’m talking about the donations we’ve been given to give to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Those dollars stay here locally to help families who are in need of financial assistance. Those dollars also go to fund research. Research that is desperately needed to find a cure.

Often I am moved beyond words when I see the donation notice. It’s not about the amount….because any amount is appreciated. But it’s the person that it comes from. For example, a high school friend that we hadn’t really communicated with since 1993 sent a very generous donation after learning about my cancer journey. Completely unexpected…and appreciated beyond words.

Then there are Craig’s co-workers. They humble me. They make me feel so special. I love the stories that Craig shares after returning from big meetings or trips about how the first thing he’s asked is ‘How’s your wife?’. Having the support of people I’ve never met warms my heart.

One of the reasons I love Team in Training is because of the support. All it takes is a hug from a teammate to turn my day around.

I know that I have support. I know that I am blessed. Plain and simple.

So here’s my advice….your take-away….

Be a support to someone. It could be anything — from bringing over a meal, giving  flowers not for a special occcasion, taking them out for coffee, mailing a card or sending a quick Facebook message, email or text (those last three are free!) – to let that person know they’re on your mind.


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