May 1, 2012
The Foundation for Women’s Cancer recently received a donation from Klye Lum, a student at Lehigh University who sponsored a head-shaving fundraiser to honor his mother, a multiple-time ovarian cancer survivor. We were so touched by his creativity and compassion that we wanted to share some of Kyle’s letter, in which he explains this project, with all of our readers.
Through the end of October, my friends from my hall and my dorm spread the word that we would be shaving our heads to raise money for Ovarian Cancer research. We talked to our friends, or families, and some, including myself spoke to our classes to get the word out.
Over those one or two weeks, there was an incredibly response in our Lehigh community. People from all over our college would come knocking on our doors, with cash in hand and a smiles on their faces. The generosity was incredibly humbling. It brings tears to my eyes as I type this at how wonderful and caring our friends and acquaintances were.
One of the most incredible parts of this is that we managed to collect over $2,000 dollars from fellow college students. My RA, Jake Puzycki explained it very well when he said that “Every one of us has the capacity for incredible kindness”. The sheer number of people who donated money is proof that there is an amazing
level of compassion in society, whether or not it seems like it at any given time. Between all the participants, there was so much love and such a feeling of unity that it will be an experience that I will never forget.
I couldn’t be happier to have been part of such a fundraiser that was meant to honor my mother. I would like to give you a brief background of her: My mom was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer when I was 10 years old. There was over a 50% chance that the disease would take her life within five years. After her tumors shrunk and we thought that it was gone, she was re-diagnosed a few years later. This has now happened several times, but she continues to take all of the surgeries, complications and chemotherapy treatments in stride. While many people in her situation could very easily be distraught or depressed, and with very good reason, she considers herself so incredibly lucky and is thankful for everything in her life. She always tells me that there are people out there who have much worse situations, even though she’s been re-diagnosed with cancer several times and has undergone over sixty chemotherapy treatments and too many surgeries to count. It was an honor to be able to have a program dedicated to her as a tribute to her positive attitude and her long, hard fought battle against cancer.