Today’s post is going to start with a story about a very special mother.
Lorraine Kerz lost her son Silas to lung cancer when he was only 29. That was almost three years ago. In the time since, Lorraine has created a non profit for young adults with cancer, Sy’s Fund, lobbied for compassionate use of medical marijuana, organized benefit golf tournaments and live music events in his honor, created a short documentary, and most recently, an exhibit of Sy’s photos.
What follows is a brief description Lorraine wrote to accompany the exhibit:
After his cancer diagnosis, Silas continued his journalistic work; first bravely documenting his life on video, and then turning to photojournalism shortly thereafter.
Through his photographs, Silas documented everything from the raw emotions of family members to the beauty of spring blossoms flowering as his young life waned.
No mother should lose a child to lung cancer. Lorraine, who I had the privilege of meeting at the Lung Cancer Alliance advocacy meeting in DC, is beyond amazing. Her incredible strength, courage, passion, love and devotion to the memory of her son Silas seemingly show no bounds. As does her determination to make a difference; exactly as Silas would have done if lung cancer hadn’t cut short his life. You are one of my heroes, Lorraine.
And now another perspective. At the close of the National Lung Cancer Partnership advocacy summit in Denver, a group of us were discussing tactics to engage the media in our fight against lung cancer. One dynamic young woman, Sarah, proposed that we all submit letters to the editors of our local papers about the personal impact of lung cancer on Mothers Day.
I realized I would never make the deadline for such a project, but instead asked my 14 year old son Peter to write a ‘letter to the editor’ which I would then publish in my blog. Here is his heartfelt correspondence:
I have always had a lot of denial about cancer. As a little kid, I just wanted to close my eyes and have it disappear. But it wouldn’t, and consequently, it really changed my way of living.
To say that cancer ruined my early life is a stretch, but certainly not a big one.
As a little kid, I was sad and confused a lot of the the time, and my mum was the one who helped me through it. SHE was the one with cancer! Be that as it may, she was always there to listen, to talk, and to hug.
That’s why I’m writing this. Happy Mothers Day mum; you were always there, and you always will be. You and me are gonna stomp this cancer into the the ground like the horse shit it is.
P.S. Are expletives okay?