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Nate’s Story

When asked to write about my experiences with cancer, I didn’t have to think twice about sharing my story. The picture below is me with two of my closest (and tallest!) friends, Jason and TJ. We were in seventh grade and had just won a 3-3 basketball tournament. Sadly, neither of their mothers would see them play high school basketball.

Left to right: Me, Jason, and TJ after a basketball tournament.
Both of their moms lost fights with breast cancer within three years.

TJ and I are second cousins of the same age. Naturally, TJ and I were best friends growing up. His mom Kathy was like my second mom. She watched for cars every time I crossed the street to come over. She told us to play outside and turn off the video games. She made sure we had our homework done before we did anything else. She probably fixed me dinner almost as much as my own mom. But when cancer hit and her ability to do these things slowly declined, I started to see the unforgiving impact cancer can have.

Thankfully, Kathy wasn’t alone in the fight. Families brought over pre-made dinners nightly, gave the kids rides to sports practices, and sent cards and prayers as things made a turn for the worse. There wasn’t a bakery in town that had better desserts than their dinner table.

Kathy and her family before cancer. She was diagnosed
with breast cancer a few years later.

When my other good friend Jason’s mom passed away after an aggressive few months of cancer, even the communities outside our school offered their prayers and condolences. All of the basketball teams in our winter tournament had flowers and cards sent to Jason’s family, and our team initialed our shoes in remembrance of his mom, Terri.

The way my community stepped up for Kathy, Terri, and their families shows what group efforts can do for people who are struggling through cancer. Even a simple gesture like sending over a lasagna makes the day a little easier so a family can enjoy the time they have, and it shows the family that they are not alone. It may be hard to offer advice at times, but we all can offer our friendship to keep their minds off of things.

Everyone affected by cancer deserves that support. I’m proud to endorse Knots for Hope, whether it’s sharing a new scarf style, walking a 5k, raising funds, or just being there for a friend. I will do my best to ensure we help where we can, and I urge you to do the same.

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