January 20th, 2016
| Survivor: Cervical Cancer
How does the power of love affect someone going through cancer treatment? From young love to the bond between a parent and their child, these stories prove love can surprise you during your darkest times, in ways you never thought possible.
Last November, the story of 8-year-old David Spisak Jr. of Virginia was all over the news. During his fourth battle with cancer, and after being well enough to return to school, David met the love of his life. You can watch David’s heart lifting story here. This story struck a nerve in me, as I have also witnessed the effect love can have on someone going through treatment.
Every so often my 8-year-old son will ask me to lay with him at bedtime. When I do, it satisfies our mutual need for some special one on one time. We talk about different things: school, his friends, how he wishes Juliana (his sister) was nicer to him and his dreams to play in the NFL one day. These moments and conversations are a gift that I treasure. It is not lost on me how lucky I am to have healthy children that want to cuddle with me at night. This is what I hope most parents are doing. The unfortunate reality though is that too many parents are faced with much greater struggles when they put their children to bed each night.
When I learned of David Spisak's story it hit close to home for the obvious reasons. This young boy and his family have endured so much in the last 6 years. Knowing that his future was uncertain, the Spisaks made the brave choice to give David the life an 8 year old deserves. While I am sure they were terrified, they wanted their son to experience life (true living) while he could. Sending him to school and allowing him to connect with the world gave him an unexpected gift. The gift of love is something extraordinary that can transcend all things, especially cancer. The connection David and his classmate Ayla made is an example of love knowing no boundaries and its ability to foster pure happiness.
When anyone is in treatment for cancer they are focused on fighting, destroying and being rid of cancer. When you find love and it is returned to you, your life is about building, healing and joy. These children have given each other a remarkable gift that gives way beyond the two of them. The other classmates, the parents and now (thanks to the media coverage) the world can feel the warmth of their connection. Nurturing and caring for one another in a time of crisis is different than during times of steadiness or routine. I hope that David and Ayla have many opportunities in the future to transform their relationship into something magical.
As a survivor, I know firsthand how powerful love can be during treatment and recovery. It surprises you when people in your life express love in a way you never knew they were capable of before. Simple gestures and even grand ones make difficult days easier. When you feel overwhelmed and consumed by your health, a loving voice or the mere presence of someone you love can be uplifting. It is not just a distraction from your reality but a reminder of why you should keep fighting. Cancer can beat you down but having the love of good people to support you makes the fight worth it.
What is your reaction to this story? Have you ever witnessed the power of love affecting someone fighting cancer? Share your story in the comments below!
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