Friday, December 28, 2012

For Bridget

Sometimes in life, a person crosses your path who simply takes your breath away.
Their spirit is so strong so powerful, things change when they are near. The best of these people can leave a presence so moving that you change your own behavior for the better.

Bridget Spence is one of those people. She is young and so it is hard to believe that in her short life she has had such an impact, but it has been her destiny.

If there was a way to "save' her from this destiny, I would be one of the first in line to make it happen. Bridget was diagnosed with Breast Cancer at the age of 21, months after graduating from college. She has dreams like everyone. Her dreams included marrying a fantastic man, buying a house, traveling the world, having a family. Her dreams did not include having Cancer.

When Bridget first felt a lump she went to her doctor. The doctor assured her there wasn't anything to worry about since she was so young. Later, when she was diagnosed, the Cancer was grade 4 - Her 2 positive Breast Cancer. The doctor "ran his hands through his hair and said I don't know what to do for you."

Bridget went to Komen. From the moment she asked for help, Komen was there. They were there with a recommendation of a Doctor who worked specifically with younger  patients. They found her a support group of young survivors where she could get support from and give support to her peers. The research funded by Komen was the reason she could try 20 different drugs, some brand new drugs. She participated in 3 clinical trials and her tumors shrunk only to grow again. But the good news in the story of Bridget is not only what we have learned from her Cancer, it is that Bridget has been able to marry her "big man", travel the world holding his hand (even in the snow in Vienna for New Years last year), buy a house (last August) and change the world. In the 6 years Komen helped give her, she has touched hundreds of thousands of lives and her story will continue to change the course of Breast Cancer getting us closer to a day without the fear of it's power.

Bridget is just a young woman, not yet 30.
She wrote a blog that will inspire you, that will touch you and I believe will spur you on to join this fight. If you haven't read her blog, the time to read it is now.

Her last entry was a couple of days ago. It was her goodbye. She asks that she not be forgotten. I can promise you and her I will do what I can to be sure she is always remembered, especially on the day we wake up to a world without Breast Cancer. Because you see, Bridget will have helped create it.

The link below is the entire speech Bridget made to the Komen Leadership conference this year. If this doesn't move you, nothing will. God Bless you Bridget.