A few years ago my sister Ellen was dying from cancer. Her body was full of it – it was wrapped around her spinal cord, in her lungs, breast, abdomen, leg, and bones.
Her doctor told her to go home, set up hospice, and expect to be dead within three months. He gave her no hope.
But this doctor didn’t know my sister like I do. In my 54 years I’ve been a witness to her strength and never-give-up attitude. She has the spirit of a warrior and when she’s got her heart set on a goal, it WILL happen!
I was blessed to sit in on many of her doctor appointments. At every visit he reminded Ellen of her three month death sentence, and every time she chose NOT to believe him. His disbelief in her sparked a flame and inspired her to believe in herself.
She chose to matter and to do whatever it was that gave her joy…
Week after week and month after month she mowed grass while sitting on her John Deere lawn mower for hours on end (she LOVES mowing). Night after night she sat on hard wooden bleachers cheering and supporting her grandchildren as they played sports. She imagined and felt what it would be like to hold her unborn grandson and to walk through the woods holding his hand one day when he was three years old. She shared her love and heart with those around her, including herself.
She let everyone else speculate about her future while she focused on creating a place for herself in her own. Every tumor disappeared and her body healed.
Today, Ellen is living and thriving cancer-free. She inspires and gives hope to me and everyone she meets along the way – Take hold of life with all you’ve got and keep moving forward.