A Foreword to my 21st: Some Thoughts on the Election

Many people I have met in the childhood cancer community are of the opinion that it is a privilege to care about something like an election – that instead of caring about who rules our country they care that they or their child survive to one day vote. I wholeheartedly agree.

On the flip side, to me this does not mean that I shouldn’t care about the election in favor of dedicating all of my emotional energy to childhood cancer. Cancer has stripped me of so many important parts of my identity – of my daily life and my community and the right to my body. It has stripped me of the ability to be looked at as much other than “that girl who got cancer” by so many of you. For me to live is to care about things like the election. For me to revoke that privilege is to turn my own mind over to this disease. There are times where I have been forced to do that, but fortunately this is not one of those times.

I am angry and sad that our country has chosen to elect someone who celebrates bigotry in so many ways – racism, sexism, homophobia, sexual assault, islamophobia, and more. I am sad not only that this person is our president-elect, but that so much of our country contributed to making this so. I have disagreed with many politicians, but have never felt so personally attacked by a candidate. I refuse to surrender these feelings because I had cancer.

Tomorrow, I will turn 21 years old. This is a birthday I had no expectation of seeing. I am honored that literally hundreds of people have directly played a role in me reaching this day. I am ecstatic that I will reach it in good enough health to attend the bone marrow drive we will be holding tomorrow in White Plaza. I am devastated that we will do so under the cloud of Trump’s election.

Please join Stanford Chi Omega, Sig Ep, ISC, IFC, Be the Match, and the Bone Marrow Foundation from 11-3 tomorrow in White Plaza. We will be registering bone marrow donors and accepting donations for the Bone Marrow Foundation to directly support a fellow CHO BMT patient, Antonio.

bone marrow cover photo 2016 copy.jpg

Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1131024890326859/

Donation page here: https://onetoonefunds.crowdsterapp.com/antoniobeshears

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About Brooke Vittimberga

I have cancer...oops
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2 Responses to A Foreword to my 21st: Some Thoughts on the Election

  1. Sarah M Schafer says:

    Happy Birthday. I know you through Theresa Johnson and you inspire me every time you post. I donate to childhood cancer through several friends. Stay strong. I support you and many others do too.

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  2. John Greene says:

    Happy Birthday, beautiful Brooke! Here’s to many, many more! A co-worker fwd’d me your blog. I read the most recent few entries, but will read more in the coming days. In fact, I’ll start at the beginning and read in order. Reading backwards doesn’t really convey the experience does it?

    We have much in common. I, too, am an AML survivor. 5.5 years out from transplant. You said you read blogs? Well, mine should keep you busy for a while: http://jgwkia.com – stands for jg will kick its ass – though recently I changed it to jg went and kicked its ass. I guess that’s a spoiler of sorts. Yep…. five and half years out and I’m as good as new. I’m also best of friends with my donor (a really cool dude from Germany.) If this blog strips out URLs, just google for: [jg aml blog] and it’ll come right up.

    There’s a lot more to my story, but I’ll let you discover that on your own or we can talk and I’ll share as much as you want. I will tell you this… after reading your Sept 1 post… you’ve been through the ringer… I hope days like that are behind you. My complications were nothing like yours. Keep fighting and keep the positive ass-kicking attitude going… it helps.

    And great job on the fundraising. That’s another thing we have in common. Since I got healthy, fundraising is all I’ve been doing — well, that and working, being a dad, husband, and playing in band. 🙂

    In fact, my the employees at my company helped me raise over $1mil this year for LLS. On top of that, our CEO is going to match it. So that’s $2mil that’s going to go directly into blood cancer research. AML sucks hard and we’re going to find a cure…. soon!

    Here are some more links (assuming they work)
    – Our national fundraising page: http://pages.lightthenight.org/2016/salesforce — $1million, baby!!
    – Our fundraising video: https://youtu.be/3UYc_YGhxAY
    – My almost final blog entry with info on my donor and other fun stuff: http://www.jgwkia.com/2015/06/a-few-companions-on-this-ride.html
    – A clip from ABC news on the fundraising from 2015: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B93U-8sDeFI4cDRtUENRS3lJejg/view

    If you want to talk, just drop me an email. jaygee[at]gmail(dot)com

    You will kicks it ass and you will have an incredible impact on those around you as you heal and dedicate (part of) your life to paying it forward.

    With love, respect, and admiration,

    -jg

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