Are you your sister’s keeper?

This evening I had the chance to celebrate Team In Training’s 25th Anniversary with the Suncoast Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society on a beautiful boat ride sponsored by the Florida Aquarium. At the event a father spoke about his daughter (pictured with my mother) who was diagnosed with Leukemia 8 years ago and how one of her older sisters was a match for a bone marrow transplant. The night before the transplant the sister told the little girl not to worry she was going to help her the next day. It was such a pure, beautiful moment during the story. Furthermore, both of the girls were present healthy and radiant.

Later during the same event one of the ladies I am training with came up to me and asked how my training was going since I missed the group run on last Saturday. She is diagnosed with Lymphoma as is my mother. I shared how my mom would start her last round of maintenance chemotherapy next month. She is at the beginning of her maintenance chemotherapy and yet training to run a half marathon. I can’t complain about my training! She looked at my mom and said “I can’t wait to be where you are two years from now. When it happens we have to have lunch to celebrate.” And my mother stated she would love that and they embraced. 

As I drove home, I reflected on these two moments and thought  about the precious gift of sisterhood. The love that was shown at such a young age between biological sisters and the love shown between two women who share a major life altering diagnosis. I then reflected over the bond I have with my own biological sisters and my “sister-friends” (as I call my friends who have become my sisters). I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am my sister’s keeper and I am grateful for my biological sisters and sister-friends who have always kept me. I encourage us women whether sister’s by blood, circumstance, or choice to stand together to uplift each other mentally, emotionally, and yes even physically in some circumstances. So I pose the question to you…Are you your sister’s keeper? Image

If you would like to help other children who fight the battle daily with blood cancers, donate to my cause to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Visit my fundraiser page at  http://pages.teamintraining.org/sun/StPeteHf13/drshanwalks.

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Will you participate for justice?

Sorry no posts for a couple of weeks, but I have been so tied up with a new position. I have struggled over the last 36 hours trying to decide if I would make a statement about the Trayvon Martin verdict. I have watched, read, and listened to news outlets, friends, and family give their different opinions about the case. I will admit that I was not surprised by the verdict, but I am still sadden by it. I am urging like so many that no violence occur behind this. I urge people to find peaceful and appropriate ways of dealing with this. People are demanding change and I agree. There are a number of cases out there that are very similar to the Trayvon Martin case. I feel that there needs to be a deeper change in the way that our judicial system is currently run. I have listened to people discuss how they are going to move to another country as if that solves anything. Other countries are faced with oppression in some form. We need to deal with the issue, not run from it. What strikes me is some of these people making these claims are people who do not participate in our system. They refuse to vote, get involved in advocacy, and are the first ones to try to get out of jury duty. When will we stop complaining and start participating? When will we realize that in order to make change we have to participate and be consistent in our participation. Having two parents who grew up during the Civil Rights movement and took me to go vote with them for every election I was excited to sign up to vote when I turned 18. Since earning my undergraduate degree in policy studies I have a greater appreciation for how policies are created. Before voting, I make it a point to investigate all aspects of the ballot; not focusing only on the candidates, but also the referendums and policies. It is my hope that people not only participate in the protests for Trayvon Martin, but make it a point to fully participate in all other areas of our legal and government systems. 

 

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures. You can access my fundraiser page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/sun/StPeteHf13/drshanwalks. Furthermore, I would like to invite family and friends to join me in St. Petersburg that day after the race to celebrate a survivor, my mother Shirley Dorsey-Davis. Feel free to contact me for more details.