It seems unfair to use the word anniversary to mark the day your husband died—but there isn’t really any other word for it. I think we all expect that each year will get easier, but it doesn’t. It’s always hard to face the realization that another year has passed without him in our lives. I’m grateful for the number of people who took the time to write to me today. It’s a reminder of how many lives Chris touched and how many patients were inspired by his story.
We never move on from losing a loved one, but we can move forward. Starting KCCure was part of that process. The picture above was taken on Chris’ 45th birthday, 9 days before he died. It’s painful for me to look at, but it’s an important picture for us all to see. I can no more forget August 8 than I can forget how much work we have left to do. This year, 60,000 Americans will be diagnosed with kidney cancer; more than 14,000 people will die.
This organization is for everyone facing a kidney cancer diagnosis. It’s also for everyone who might someday face a diagnosis in the future. It’s for the widows and widowers, the family members, the children, and the friends of everyone in this community. Together, we are raising funding for research – research that no other organization is funding.
We are all doing this together because without research, we can’t find the underlying genetic cause of Chris’s cancer. Without research, we can’t protect his daughters—my daughters. Without research, we can’t unravel this complex disease and find a cure for everyone. It won’t bring Chris back. It won’t erase his loss. But it will save lives. Finding a cure – that’s an anniversary I’d look forward to celebrating.