I have known Baron Robison, Kickin Cancer’s Executive Director, through Toastmasters for about 10 years.  He asked me almost 3 years ago to help him with the accounting for the budding organization that is now Kickin’ Cancer.  This organization really grew out of Baron’s love for his sister into a love for all humanity that all of us share with him.  It has been touching and inspiring for me to watch Kickin’ Cancer grow, and also to get to know Baron and Brenda better.  Their love for each other warms my heart to no end.

Having been involved with KC almost from the beginning, I have had the opportunity to watch it evolve and its mission solidify and gain focus.  Baron has done an amazing job of bringing KC into the public eye through his tireless efforts and devotion to the cause.  He really lives Kickin’Cancer every day.   The board has played an instrumental part in this process, as well.

My WHY comes from two places. I, like almost everyone, have known many family and friends who endured cancer.  Some have lived and beaten it, including my Mom, who was diagnosed at 62 with breast cancer and lived another 30+ years before Alzheimer’s and pure old age took her from us.  Many, sadly, have succumbed, including friends with breast, colon, lung, brain, uterine, among other cancers.  One very close family member lives with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.  Even I have survived a non-life threatening skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma.  The memory of the suffering and deprivation of life for those lost drives me to want to help others who will suffer this dreaded disease, in any way I can.  The more we can help and encourage people to live a healthier, more meaningful life, the better.  Healthy lifestyle and eating practices do so much, including helping to avoid cancer.  And, offering support to those fighting cancer and their families is so important.

The other WHY for me comes from a deep gratitude for my good health.  At 61, I have had my share of dings and dents to my body, but my overall health is excellent.  I will take some of the credit, for living and eating fairly healthy.  I also credit my parents with passing along good genes.  I want to be part of a movement to get more people to love their bodies and treat them with the respect the only body they will ever have deserves.  I want to help support the people fighting cancer, and their families.

Don’t get me wrong…it’s not someone’s fault if they get cancer.  So many variables lead to cancer, many of them probably still unknown.  All we can do with our lifestyle and eating is lessen our chances of getting it or increase our chances of surviving it.  Anyone can get cancer, no matter how they live.

KC isn’t doing groundbreaking research for cures or inventing drugs to treat or fight cancer.  Others with the education and skills are doing that work, and I support them in my heart.  KC is providing support TODAY helping people to live better and, as part of that, help to avoid cancer altogether.  The organization educates to help all eat smarter and live better.  It helps families to pay better attention to the members who don’t have cancer but need to be loved and nurtured.  And, it raises money for individuals fighting cancer to help defray the financial damage that cancer can inflict.

The pillars of Kickin Cancer:  Action, Education & Support have something to offer everyone.

Jill Ward