Yesterday afternoon we went for a family bike ride. Gavin took a bit of a spill and ended up with a few scratches and some oil from his bike chain on one of his calves. It wasn't anything major and he continued on his way and spent a lot of time running around the playground. Honestly, we all forgot about it which is why it wasn't until after supper during his bath that I saw it and remembered I should clean it all up.
Isn't that what Moms are for?
While I was trying to scrub the oil off, he started squirming. Of course this made getting it clean all the more difficult so I told him that he had to stay still because if I couldn't get it all the way clean it could cause an infection.
I have no idea if this is true, but it worked. In fact, it worked almost too well because what Gavin said next was:
"Yeah, because I don't want to end up like Terry Fox. He just skips now."
This, of course, led to a bit deeper of a conversation than I was anticipating during bath time, involving a rudimentary explanation of cancer and how brave Terry Fox was. We'd seen one of Terry's shoes and his Marathon of Hope T-shirt at Canada's Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend and if you ever need to give yourself a dose of perspective, that exhibit is the place to find it.
After putting the kids to bed, I sat at the computer and checked my Facebook.That's where I first saw the story of Zach Sobiech, a 17-year-old from Minnesota who died yesterday of osteosarcoma, the same cancer that took Terry Fox. Before he died, Zach hooked up with the people from Soul Pancake (an awesome website founded by Rainn Wilson) and recorded a song and made a video as part of their Last Days series. The main message of all of this is that you shouldn't wait until you find out you're dying to really start living. Zach and his family agreed to participate in this project as a way to encourage donations to research that will help others who find themselves dealing with osteosarcoma.
I guess I just wanted to remind all of the people sharing Zach's story that here in Canada we have a phenomenal organization that has been doing this kind of research for over thirty years: The Terry Fox Foundation. What Zach's death tells us is that while research has come a long way to improving survival rates of this type of cancer, there is still so much more to be done.
So much more.