Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Dear Family and Friends,
It's that time of year again- this will be my third year with Relay for Life, my fourth anniversary of being cancer free! If you would like to support my efforts in raising money for the American Cancer Society, please follow the link below. I would also love to see you at the event- it will be at the Amherst College Football field on April 20th and 21st... Drop by and do a lap with me if you can!

Hope everyone is healthy and happy. Enjoy the coming spring and drop me a line to say hello.



I will let the above letter from my niece Shannon speak for itself. I received this along with a lovely email from my brother (her Dad) today. I would love to print it here, but it would take too much space (sorry Pat) and I want to get to the main part - helping Shannon raise money for a very worthy cause. I will, however, excerpt a bit from his email here:

"The great news is that we will be celebrating 4 years of Shannon being in remission this June. So many positive things have happened in her life that I am grateful for. She will be graduating with honors from Amherst College in about 6 weeks. She has been involved in a few internships that have sent her to India, and NYC for summer studies. She just had her first job interview yesterday, for a research assistant with a firm in CT. All of those accomplishments pale in comparison to the gratitude I have for her recovery."

The photo above is of Shannon which my brother sent with his email. He said that he liked this particular one as it looked like Shannon was looking to the heavens thanking G-d for another day of life. With your generous support, other children will too be able to smile.

Thank you all for sharing this with my family. If you can lend your support in a monetary fashion, we appreciate it beyond words - and thanks to anybody who has already given, your generosity is quite touching.

I realize that not everyone is in a position to show their support financially. You could also just leave a comment in support of Shannon's efforts - I'll be sure she sees them which will also be inspiring to her.

And to Shannon, a young woman special beyond words - L'chaim baby - to life!


~cj~ said...

The Relay For Life is such a wonderful thing! I've been an active member of this relay for the past 13 years. The first time I walked on a team was shortly after my papa died of cancer in 1996. Erick and I have been on many teams over the years and have walked for papa, his father, and now our friends who battle cancer.

L'chaim Shannon - L'chaim !!!

and off to the link!

Pat said...

I guess it was my turn to get misty-eyed. There I was - listening to one of my favorite songs of all time blaring high as my computer would allow - Baby Baby Baby, you're out of time....looking at one of my favorite people, Shanny bananny, and reading from well, anything written by a R _ _ _ - er I mean H _ _ _ _ _ _ _ is my favorite - smilin' away - when it hit me how fast it all goes by, how little time we get to be with the ones we love most, but how gooood that time is sometimes - I truly am reminded how very grateful I am that Shannon is here - just here - no matter what else is going on - wow, there's nothing like a good cry to cleanse the soul - L'Chaim indeed baby!!! - still too much G! - I love you girl!

G said...

Thanks for your support cj - you're the best. xox ~ G

G said...

Pat! I just missed you in there. Well then I hope you're not wearing mascara. A line from a Matisyahu song just floated into my head - "time flies by like clouds passing in the sky, lifetime here and gone in the blink of an eye" - something like that. Let's keep enjoying the little moments, shall we?

Glad you got by for one of your favorite songs too. Good luck this weekend - we'll be there with you in spirit. Love ya, G

HMBT said...

I have been a part of the ACS for 15 years...15 years because of my own remmission from bone's a wonderful community and a terriffic cause to support! Congrat's to the beautiful Shannon on her way in the is short...make the most of every single day. We were all born with a terminal's called birth. So run, baby run! :)

weirsdo said...

Went there, did that. Especially appropriate as Dr. Weirsdo is graduate of Williams.
What a beautiful girl!

Minka said...

what a beautiful girl and I have to agree with her dad, this picture is filled with a passion and gratitude for life, that any camera would have a difficult time to capture.
Just amazing, anything about her really!
There are so many people out there that don´t even live life, not even a fourth of it and on teh other spectrum you have people that fight for being in it every single day.
If that isn´t power and determination, I don´t know what is.
Shannon, here are three Icelandic cheers to you!

Doug said...

What a beauty! Good for Shannon for fighting for others after fighting for herself. She'll be one formidable graduate.

G said...

hmbt: Thank you so much. Your words are so true. And I think Philip Roth called the terminal illness of birth - the human stain. Continued good health to you and thanks for your support here.

Weirsdo, thanks so much for your support. I remembered that about Dr. Weirsdo.

Minka, if there is one word that describes Shannon - it is determination. Thank you for your kind words and cheers - I'll be sure to pass them along.

Thanks Doug - that she is, through and through.

Thanks to all for your support ~ xox

chikken said...

Wow. Beautiful girl, beautiful story!

First Nations said...

Congratulations Shannon!

neva said...

Shannon -- i am in awe of you. that said, it comes as no surprise to find out what an amazing/courageous woman you are -- based on my relationship with your wonderful aunt, i know "awesomeness" runs in the family! good luck to you this weekend, and, from one who has a beloved family member battling cancer even as i type, thank you. from the bottom of my heart... thank you. xoxox

ps, G: i came thisclose to posting that picture on the Snark -- Shannon is a BEAUTY, to be sure! clearly gorgeous looks run in the family, as well! ; )

Shannon Rush said...

Hi Everybody-

Thanks so much for all the compliments and words of encouragement! I really love this event. Those hours walking laps give me a lot of time for reflection about these last years since cancer. My thoughts are always a mixed bag... I am happy to be here and I'm always incredibly grateful for the people who contribute time, money, or support to this cause. But I also can't help thinking about the others who didn't make it. And part of me still feels a bit sad thinking about my time in treatment- it was a pretty dreary place where I was four years ago...

I've made it a tradition to have a mimosa mile at sunrise. All of my closest friends try to appease me, though college life doesn't necessarily suit the getting up at dawn. They shuffle down to meet me on the track, sleepy eyed and yawning. But as the sun comes up and the world gets light again, we fill our cups with OJ and the bubbly and pause a moment to toast the day. Something I feel that maybe we could all do a little more often...

Thanks for making this event extra special- my first blogging debut!! I'll be sure to send some warm thoughts to you from the track...


Diesel said...

How can I say no to a smile like that?

Sar said...

What a beautiful photo of your niece. Such good news about her and the cause. Thanks for sharing, G.

Kyahgirl said...

Best wishes Shannon and bless you G for blogging about her!

ann said...

shannon you are a beautiful beautiful girl and I wish you tonsa luck... I shall try to donate; we'll see if it works for Londoners, although I see you have gone past your goal... well done. Let's help you double it!

there are many here who are also doing runs and walks over the next few weeks for similar causes... everyone of them worthwhile

all my very best wishes to you and your lovely auntie g

Claire said...

Done. Shannon, good luck with the rest of your life, you brave and strong girl!

ariel said...

hi, G, I haven't been here for a long time. :)

hi, Shannon, glad to hear you are fine and happy! your example should make all of us tend to mourn over trivialities think and smile more than we do.

there was one quite funny X-Files episode, Mulder and Scully were sitting on a small, wet sandback in the middle of some lake in the middle of night, and Mulder was talking about how all of his life he was a little envy of those with some kind of physical handicap, like one leg or no legs at all, because he thought it was not fair that those people naturally had something to fight against and fight for, while he, Mulder, had to come up with a reason of life all alone.

as taken aback I was with his words as bad they made me laugh because I know there are millions and millions with the same problem in this world.

but don't get me wrong, NO WAY I am trying to say that happy are those with one leg or anything like that! I was just reminded of those words tell so much about us humans. :)

never stop smiling, girl!

G said...

Wow, just wow. I wish I had time right now to reply individually but I just wanted to say thank you all very much for your support.

Shannon is walking as we speak - perhaps doing her Mimosa mile. She is a lesson to me of poise and grace and determination and beauty and so many other wonderful qualities wrapped up into one.

Thank G-d she is here with us today because she's got a lot to accomplish in this wicked old world.

Love to all, your support has really touched me and I know Shannon as well.

actonbell said...

What a beautiful picture and story! Shannon is off to an amazing start in life. She has been gifted with perspective and wisdom, and will have a rich life. She's an inspiration--thank you for posting this, G:)

tsduff said...

Shannon is a joy to behold - what a brave and spirited young woman. SO happy for 4 years cancer free. I donated recently to my friend Jillie on her breast cancer site but send my very best wishes to Shannon and her buddies as they trudge for their good cause.

Pat Rush said...

Thank you G for dedicating the time and space for Shannon's RFL. As always it was a very moving, and at times emotional event, especially since they had asked Shannon to share some of her story during the luminaria ceremony. She had prepared some comments, and with not a light light lit, except the flashlight someone held so Shannon could see her notes, she recounted some of her experience, shared some of her hope and remembered fondly some of the children she had fought the fight with. She also expressed her gratitude for family, friends and professionals that constantly helped her to gain the strenth to keep fghting. It was another in a long string of coming of age moments I have witnessed of Shannon over the years. We are all blessed to have her still in our lives, and I am grateful to all of the bloggers who donated and sent good thoughts and kind words her way! - Pat Rush

G said...

Chikken: Thanks for dropping in during your hectic moving time, my friend. xox

fn: Thanks much friend.

Neva, my dearest NBFF, your support in and out of the blogs moves me beyond words. Thank you so much. I appreciate your own awesomeness so very much. XOX

Shannon, we felt the warm thoughts all the way from here. Any time I showed Julian your picture, he screamed - "my cousin!! Shannon!" Hope you heard him. xox

Diesel, don't I know it! Thanks buddy.

Sar, thank you. It is indeed good news and a wonderful cause. She is a light to many.

Kyah, thank you so much for your good wishes. Always good to see you.

Ann, thank you so much for your sweet sparky spirit and good wishes. You are appreciated beyond words.

Claire, thank you so much. This support was really so touching.

Ariel, I'm so happy to see you whenever. And oddly enough I didn't watch that show regularly, but I remember that episode. Said a lot. Thanks so much for dropping by today.

Actonbell, she is indeed operating with an unfair advantage in many ways :) Thanks for dropping by and sharing this moment with us.

Terry, she is indeed. Good for Jillie and thanks so much for dropping by today.

Pat, so beautifully put. If I could have put a billoboard up in TimesSquare I would have. I am sure the ceremony was beyond moving and a special moment for you both. My love and good thoughts were with you all weekend. Thanks for taking the time to fill us in.

As to my blogger buddies - a finer bunch of people you'll not find. Love to you and to them. xox

weirsdo said...

As you know I sent my good viola student on to a great teacher whose son is Principal Viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra. His daughter is a fantastic violinist and cancer survivor (and another son is a well known solo cellist). When I see Shannon and her smile I think of Gabriella and hers. She also fundraises--with concerts.
L'chaim indeed.

G said...

Weirsdo - that is beautiful indeed. L'chaim.