Making a Difference

By: Nicole Morten
By: Nicole Morten

I plan to make a difference in the battle against Breast Cancer. How will you make a difference in 2010?

Sometimes we all need a cause. Something to give us hope. Something to strive for. Something that makes us feel like we are really making a difference in our community. I've reported and anchored the news in our community for 15 years here at WJHG.

I do stories everyday dealing with pain and suffering, injustice, and miracles. Everyday issues that have an impact on each and every one of us. This year, part of my New Year's Resolution was to make a difference. I found my calling to do so through personal experience. For years, I've done stories dealing with cancer. New treatments, new high-tech medical tools, new hopes for a cure. Year after year, we cover stories on walks, rallies, all for "the cause," but I must admit, I never really understood the passion behind those advocates until my mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer three years ago at the age of 62.

That day changed my life....My mom's cancer was extensive: both breasts, through her entire spine, and starting in the brain. The initial prognosis was grim, and as the only daughter in a close-knit military family, I dropped everything and spent five nights in the hospital with my mom. We poured over X-rays, MRI's, cat scans.. you name it. It seemed like there was no way she could survive such extensive cancer that was spreading through her body like wildfire, but then, her doctors gave me hope. With new medicines, new treatments, new chemotherapies tailored for each individual person, I had HOPE. Today, three years later, my mom is still alive. She is a miracle. She is a fighter. The strongest person I know. She still has chemo and probably always will, but she also has life, and quality of life. The reason people like my mom have HOPE is because of the money raised by passionate advocates for cancer research. Those walks and fundraisers I used to just report on, now have new meaning to me. I understand.

They are part of the reason we have new drugs that are turning cancer from a death sentence into a chronic illness for people like my mom. For that, I am grateful. I also believe in the power of prayer. I know that has something to do with my mom still being here today. I now am on the American Cancer Society's Board of Directors for the Bay District. I am also the Chair for this year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on October 9th at Aaron Bessant Park (Pier Park) in Panama City Beach. I urge you to join me in taking part in this year's walk.

Just contact me at the station donna.bell@wjhg.com and I will get you on board. Even if you choose not to be part of this year's Breast Cancer walk, I urge you to find a cause in our community, volunteer your time, and make a difference. Whether its helping with children, the elderly, in your church or in your neighborhood, you can make a difference. Its one of the reasons I love our community and have made it my home. My mom once told me good deeds are richly rewarded in the end. I believe her. After all, she is the strongest person I know.

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