NET Awareness Day op.ed. 2

Op.ed.: NET cancer awareness day-Walking with Jane-Neuroendocrine tumor cancer

About 495 words

Let’s become the Official Sponsor of More Living

by Harry Proudfoot

The American Cancer Society bills itself as the official sponsor of more birthdays.

And I get it. Birthdays are a big deal. I don’t know why it was so important to me that my wife Jane not die on her birthday — or just before it — but it was. It makes no logical sense to me, but the desire for at least one more birthday was visceral.

But curing cancer is about more than birthdays.

I went grocery shopping today. It was a chore Jane and I always did together. We both hated doing it, but being together made it better. We need an official sponsor of more grocery shopping done together.

Last week I shovelled snow. I cleared the driveway, the walk, the steps and dug out the mailbox. It was a job we always did together. We need an official sponsor of more snow shoveled together.

Tomorrow I will do some house cleaning and hang some pictures. It is supposed to be rainy, raw, and miserable — the perfect kind of day for doing some of the organizing I have in mind. We would have done that together. We need an official sponsor of more indoor chores done together.

Also tomorrow I have a new set of shelves I have to build for the kitchen. We need an official sponsor of more home improvement jobs done together.

In October, I had 149 trick-or-treaters come to the door. Jane and I used to dress up for the night and hand out the candy together. We need an official sponsor of more holidays spent together.

Life is about more than birthdays. It is about all the small moments in every singular unimportant day. It is about the morning hug, the freshly made breakfast, the off-to-work kiss, the lunches and dinners together, the curling up on the couch in each others’ arms, the shared laughter, the shared tears, the shared joy and the shared anger, and the little end of the day rituals that finish with the final kiss good night.

For the American Cancer Society that sponsorship of more birthdays is symbolic, I assume, of all that. But it is easy to get caught up in the joy of more birthdays and lose sight of the fact that life is about more than birthdays — or even holidays.

So call us all for what we would like to be: the official sponsors of more living.

(Harry Proudfoot lost his wife of 21 years, three months, and eight days to NET cancer on December 10, 2010. He founded Walking with Jane, an awareness group on that cancer, in her memory.)

This story provided by Walking with Jane. Inc., a 501 (c) (3) non-profit dedicated to eradicating NET cancer. For more information about NET cancer or Carcinoid Syndrome contact or visit our website at


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