We must become the change we want to see

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We must become the change we want to see.

Hi, I’m Kevin. When I was 10, cancer changed my family. Too much pain. Too much heartache. For millions of people, the dread of this disease must bring fear that I can’t imagine. So, why would a guy get involved in something like a fight against breast cancer, like the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer? For me, I don’t have a bold banner to share. I didn’t have an epiphany that called me toward a cause. I didn’t have a need to walk 39 miles nor did I want to see if I could challenge my friends to donate toward my $1,800 goal. However, I did want to try to make a difference. I realize that if I can motivate someone to get involved, or help a man or woman in their challenge against cancer, then I make a difference.

I try to raise my 10-year-old son to be involved in places that aren’t expected. As much as we think we make a difference, the difference comes as we pass proper examples to our children. Those lessons can be passed on for generations. It’s easy for me to stay in a comfortable place. Sometimes when I hear a song over and over, it’s time to change the radio station. If we hear the same speech from the same speaker, it’s time to hear a different perspective. As an outsider of this disease, it seems like sharing someone’s struggle should be embraced by all people who care.

“It’s not my problem” - “I’m not comfortable” - “Maybe someone else” -  we can think of dozens of excuses why we can’t help. The incredible joy of doing the opposite can change your life probably more than those whose burden you are trying to alleviate. Mahatma Gandhi said, “We must become the change we want to see.”

There are many ways to give through charity. We can make a donation of our time, our money or our compassion to our neighbor who may struggle. There aren’t many people who can get through life alone. We can have a unique role in our society where we help those in need, knowing that we too could be in need somewhere down the road. Charity not only lifts the lives of others, but our own spirits as well. Most of the time, we are rewarded many times over for a simple act of kindness.

I think on the morning of the Charlotte Avon Walk, everyone will have a different feeling when they take the first step. I can’t imagine the emotions of survivors. Will I look at the day with a grateful soul that I have another day to see the beauty around me? Because there will be beauty all around. That woman who has survived 5 years, 10 years or who has just learned she is in remission. There will also be the beauty of friends and families who weep for the loss of a loved one. However, there aren’t many things more beautiful than human kindness. We can lift the spirit of the living despite the brutality of cancer.

Click here to learn more about how you can participate in this life-changing event on Oct. 26th and 27th in the Charlotte Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.