This weekend I volunteered for my family’s non-profit organization, Kyle Miller Memorial Inc., that raises money for children and families inflicted with illnesses.
The organization is in memory of my uncle Kyle who passed of cancer years ago.
He was diagnosed with brain cancer as a toddler and went through treatments before eventually being declared in remission.
Then in his early twenties, he was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer that eventually took his life.
To keep his spirit alive, my family decided that they wanted to give back to the community, specifically to those that are going through something similar to what they once did.
The fundraiser I volunteered for is a softball tournament that showcases teams from all over.
As I was helping to check in teams, a coach came up my grandmother and me and expressed how he brought his team here solely based on my uncle’s story and what we accomplish.
The man’s daughter, who was actually a player in the tournament, was diagnosed with back cancer when she was just five years old.
He told us that they went through difficult times during her treatment but fifteen years later she is healthy and cancer-free.
When he heard of our organization he said he felt a familiarity with what my family had gone through and knew he needed to bring his team to support a cause that affected him personally.
I was able to meet the girl and hear her story.
Seeing her and how she lived through what she did and was able to come out stronger, is what makes what we do so worth it.
Being in this organization has given me an appreciation for life and people.
Too often we find ourselves stuck in the midst of our own lives.
Between classes, work, family and trying to somehow incorporate a social life, we seem to forget to actually appreciate the life we have.
Here we are going about our lives while there are others that are barely holding on and trying to survive.
It is important to expose yourself to other people to get a sense of compassion and appreciation for others and yourself.
I would not be where I am, or who I am, without having grown up supporting a cause like the one my family has dedicated themselves to over the years.
Go out, find a purpose, and do something to make a difference.
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