As an English major, there are very few times in life when I am at a loss for words. I have never really struggled with a way to convey my feelings or to tell a story. This week though, I have written, rewritten, deleted, backspaced, and shut my computer in frustration countless times trying to write this post, attempting to share my 'glimpse of hope' this week in a way that will do her justice. Easier said than done when the story I am trying to tell encompasses so many emotions, so many feelings, and so much of what has made me the person I am today.
I have been extremely blessed in the last 19 years of my life to remain healthy, happy, and incredibly loved by those around me. I have had my difficulties to overcome, just as everyone has, and while they may have seemed like the end of the world at the time, nothing compares to the words "you have cancer." Tomorrow I am joining more than 600 Marquette students at Relay For Life, an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society designed in order to fight back against cancer. As a community we are doing our part to raise awareness and funds to create a world with more birthdays and less people who have to hear those fateful words.
Everyone has their different reasons to relay, this year I am relaying in memory of my friend Anna Basso who passed away on June 8, 2011 after a long, hard battle with this horrible disease. Anna was diagnosed her junior year in high school and put up an amazing and inspirational fight against Ewing's Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Anna has provided constant motivation and inspiration to me. I miss her everyday and I continually question why she was taken from us so young, but God had different plans for her and she has taught me so much about faith, life, and hope in her journey and her legacy.
Anna is my constant 'glimpse of hope.' She taught me, through the words of her favorite song, that "even if things get heavy, we'll all float on" (Modest Mouse), and she showed me what it was like to truly be strong. Her story is incredible and I could go on for hours about how amazing of a person she was. During her battle a modern day prayer chain was started in her honor, 1 Million 4 Anna. It was a website used to track all the people praying for Anna's health and to demonstrate the power of community as we were all asked to pray each day at 12:12 in honor of her favorite bible verse Romans 12:12. 1 Million 4 Anna has recently reached more than 3,000,000 tracked prayers, a true testament to the nature of her legacy and the lengths that her story has gone.
Its been almost 11 months since I last saw Anna. 11 months later and I feel her with me more than ever. The strength and faith she has given me helps me through my hardest days. I know Anna will be with me tomorrow, pushing me along as I walk in her memory and in honor of all those who have been affected by cancer. I am honored to have known such an incredible woman, I am honored to have been able to call her my friend, and I am honored walk in her memory tomorrow with team Float On.
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer" Romans 12:12