Below are a few public personalities who lived with cancer and boldly shared that journey through art, philanthropy, community, and raising awareness. Click the photo and follow the link to learn more about their work and lives.
This was the last day of our first Smith College Family Weekend Sunday brunch. We had just left a string quartet performance and finished stuffing our faces with pancakes and grapefruit. I was standing beneath these glorious trees on a pleasantly warm autumn day. Three years later and it’s almost that time of year again. I can’t wait. Hotel already booked.
1. My name is misspelled on my birth certificate.
2. I’m a descendant of Jean Toomer.
3. I booked a week-long stay in a Bed and Breakfast and the innkeeper offered me the attached cottage as a permanent residence. I live there now.
4. I see numbers, letters, days of the week, and months of the year in a specific graphical sequence in my mind that never changes.
5. I won a belching contest when I was 16.
My mother loves to laugh. Not quips, but ache-with-joy bouts of woman howling. Her giggle is a siren song that ripples out and grabs you. This is a foto of her last year in October the day after my first round of chemo. I drove her to the lighthouse. She’d arrived the week before and had no time for sightseeing, unless you consider daily trips to the cancer center a tourist activity. I shuffled around the beachfront, but she climbed right up on the rocks and walked along the jetty. When a man offered to help her down safely, she started to laugh. And then he laughed and I laughed and his wife laughed and the sound swelled around us and broke open the sky.