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No one should fight cancer alone
Kristina Van DePol, second from right, gets ready for the Luminaria Ceremony. - photo by HIME ROMERO

My wife and I suspected some slight regression in our 7-month-old son’s development.

We made an appointment for Jyriaun at Kaiser Permanente. After a few questions, a test of this and that and finally a scan of his head, our pediatrician was directing me to return home and pack a trip to Oakland.

“Pack, pack for how long?”

“Mr. Chambers, you should pack for a few weeks.”

In less than 24 hours after making a doctor’s appointment we were informed our son had Medullablastoma brain cancer. I remember sone of my first words I mouthed in the “brace-yourself-we-have-some-bad-news” meeting with our medical team, were about the fact that I’d been involved with Relay for Life.

Everybody knows cancer, but it’s a tough, emotionally-draining road getting to KNOW cancer.

To reflect back to my child’s nine-hour brain surgery on Sept. 1 and thinking of him being involved in this year’s Relay For Life in Oakdale this past weekend as a survivor is a really a humbling reflection. I know how many people immediately fell in line for our relay team and it is impossible to live beyond this disease without teammates.

The support from others, who empathize with you as you travel through the most unstable moments in life, will undoubtedly be the foundation to those who are able to conquer. When you care about somebody who has cancer, the impact that you have in that life is immeasurable.

As we all pick up the batons for our own particular Relay for Life teams, please continue to spread that hope because if there is one thing I have learned from cancer over the past seven-plus months, it’s that nobody should have to make that fight alone.