In june of 2004, my Unca Dave passed away from prostate cancer.
A month earlier, my dad had been officially diagnosed with the same disease, but had chosen a very aggressive treatment, based on his younger brother’s current state. Since then, my dad’s other 2 brothers have been diagnosed, had surgery and are now cancer free. This disease is seriously out to get the men in my family.
Unfortunately, there are many underserved areas, where men are not even able to be tested for this disease. Zero Cancer provides grants, free testing and education, so hopefully, we can stop this disease before it hits my cousin or my brother!
This year, on the 6th anniversary of losing my Unca Dave (we called him that because he had some video of my brother at 3yrs old calling him that and it stuck), I was thinking about how much I missed him and the impact he had on the dynamic of our family. He was the crazy one and in my family, that means something. We always had a blast when he came to town! He had long hair, played the drums, loved building models and riding bicycles. Every year, he would lead my whole family for an entire day and ride from North Buffalo to Niagara Falls.
Recently, I was thinking about how much I regret missing out on those bike rides. I did that by choice because I was lazy. Pure and simple. They would ride together, had fun and I’m sure they did a lot of laughing and I was too busy...watching tv, I guess? Ugh.
On a more serious note, my Unca Dave also took me in for a week, after 9/11 when I lost access to my apartment because I lived just 4 blocks away. This was when we really clicked. He took me shopping for clothes because I only had what I was wearing that day when I left for class at NYU and he made me feel safe in his family’s home.
Anyway, this year, I decided to organize a family team for The Dash for Dad 5k to benefit prostate cancer research and I’m so proud of myself for not being that same lazy broad, but I’m particularly proud of my amazing family for participating!
My mom’s family even joined in and I was able to cross the finish line with my Aunt Toni’s husband Ed, who is also a survivor!
This didn’t make me miss my Unca Dave any less, but it made me thankful that our contributions can help others, so they don’t have to lose their Unca Daves.
@--}-- (he used to sign his emails with this rose)