Drove up to Detroit, Michigan yesterday. I have a few friends and some family up here. The reason I came up is because my childhood friend runs a foundation, A New Day Foundation for Families. I encourage you to go to PublicGood.com and donate a little money to them. You might know their story from the book and movie, “The Color of Rain”.
Turns out, cancer treatment works better when you are under less stress. Problem for a lot of families is they can’t afford it. For most families, after insurance pays they still have $1300 a month out of pocket. How many families can handle that?
Trouble is, when you get cancer, it impacts your ability to work. It impacts everyone in the family. Instead of being a husband, wife, or child, you become a caregiver or patient.
Last night, Michael and Gina’s son Sam spoke. Sam lost his father to cancer. He was diagnosed last November with a brain tumor. Stage 4. He has had it removed, and has had a lot of treatment. He wears an electronic stimulation device on his head a minimum of 18 hours a day. He carries a 14 pound pack with him everywhere he goes. Sam knows what cancer is from both sides-watching his father and having it himself.
It was interesting to listen to his perspective.
One of the things that Sam said was his spirits were lifted up not only by his own faith, but by the faith of others. We often say the words “praying for you” and it’s become sort of trite. But, in Sam’s case it really matters. I was struck by that, and by his deceased father.
Sam’s father Matt Kell knew he was going to die. So, he started to make videotapes. He made them so his boys would know him, and be able to get some fatherly advice from him when they needed it-even though he would only be with them in spirit. In the very first tape, Matt was at a loss for the most important thing to say.
He paused, and pulled out his bible. He read a verse, Matthew 22, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. And, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Matt’s point is that no matter what challenges you will face in life, it’s going to be a lot easier if you are able to follow those simple rules.
In our fast society that tries to find holes in every statement we forget that. Last night it was really nice to remember it, and be taught by a 14 year old young man that is living it each and every day.