Angels Ethan Zohn and Gavin Robertson met in person for the first time to run the NYC marathon. Gavin, Ethan’s Survivor Angel, mentored him through his fight with a rare form of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma called CD-20. They had nearly identical treatment plans and now, after Gavin’s success, they can battle marathons together!
Hodgkin’s lymphoma, previously known as Hodgkin’s disease, is a type of lymphoma, which is a cancer originating from white blood cells called lymphocytes. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of two common types of cancers of the lymphatic system. The other type, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, is far more common.
Read more at the National Cancer Institute.
Earlier last week, I was excited that a Fallopian Tube cancer survivor had registered with Imerman Angels. Cheryl was a delightful soul and she shared her whole story with me. Like always, I took her information, entered her into the system and let her know that she might not hear from us for awhile because we don’t get many fallopian tube fighters that register with us. I reassured her that we had her info and we were proud and honored to have her join our team of survivors.
Later that day, to everyone’s surprise, Sarah, a Fallopian Tube cancer support seeker register with us. I was floored and called Cheryl right away and left her a message – that she was about to become an angel. Cheryl called me the next day. She said that she got chills when she heard my message. Not only because of the speed at which we contacted her but because that day but she also received an email from another family of a fallopian tube cancer fighter that had lost her battle. She immediately knew that it was her friends’ spirit that drew her to call us when she did. She had Imerman Angels phone number for over 6 months and had done nothing with it. The morning she registered she had an overwhelming urge to call.
Upon further conversation, and to make this story more amazing. Sarah was a nurse and so was Cheryl. Sarah was 54 years old and Cheryl was 54 when she was diagnosed. Like we have mentioned in blog posts before, this is a prime example of cancer karma and that there are NO coincidences in life, or at the Imerman Angel office.
*Please Note: We have changed names for privacy.
What is Cancer Karma? by Lisa Cristia
Cancer Karma is a phrase we use every day in the Imerman Angel office. We have come to believe that there are no coincidences and that everything happens for a reason.
A prime example of this was when a cancer fighter with a rare oral cancer that had metastasized (moved to other areas of her body). She called our office looking to be connected to another angel. She was VERY specific with her request of what she wanted and the details pertaining to what she wanted in a match. Upon looking through our database, we found that we had survivors with similar stories but not exactly with her specifications. I was worried that she might not be happy as she was very specific. Within two hours I received call from a girl who wanted to be a volunteer because her Dad had recently survived cancer. Yep, you guessed it. The same type of cancer with the same specifications. Perfect match: “Cancer Karma!”
It always seems to happen. We get cancer fighters who register and although we might not have someone in the database at that very moment, it will always come, within the same day. Rynell blogged about two women with the same name, same type of cancer who were both organ transplant recipients. We had two gentlemen that had exactly the same first and last name with the exception of one letter. In surprising numbers, we constantly match up people with the same name. We find exact “cancer twins” within a day or two, for some of the rarest types of cancer, or unique specifications.
Everyday our amazing Mentor Angel Survivors, step up, step forward, and step up to the plate, putting their hearts and souls into the game, helping others heal and change the world of cancer. What we do would not be possible if it weren’t for our Angels. Please help to keep the good vibrations and “Cancer Karma” going. If you know a survivor of cancer with a big heart, ask them to put their best foot forward and step up to the plate. We need more grand slam home run players to bring the game of life back to the cancer fighters.
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This week, a very interesting couple from California contacted the office.
The couple was a classic victim of the dwindling economy. Two college educated individuals, both lost their jobs and in turn, fell behind in their mortgage payments and found themselves homeless. One day, while getting food at the local soup kitchen, there just happened to be a medical van outside. The woman was suffering a bit of what she thought was sciatia pain. They stopped at the medical van and found out (after a lot of tests) that she had advanced cervical and ovarian cancer. Immediately, fear set in. How were they going to get help? They were jobless and homeless. Luckily, Kaiser Permanente Hospital agreed to treat them pro-bono given their situation. A person who deals with homelessness situations found a way to get them put up, for a few weeks in a local motel. Another individual stepped up and paid for a few more but their time, at the hotel, is coming to an end soon.
This woman is facing 5 weeks of radiation followed by chemo, with no sign of housing in their near future. The amazing thing is that they are not bitter or angry at all. They continue to keep their sense of humor by finding humor in almost every situation that they encounter. They thank the homelessness for finding the cancer. They truly believe, that if they did not end up on the street, they would have never discovered the cancer.
Imerman Angels was able to connect them to an amazing survivor who underwent a similar cancer story. We also referred them to many other resources through our cancer partner organizations, as well as personal connections that Jonny has in California.
This is an amazing example of true grit and determination and the will to live. A testimonial to the great gifts of the universe and seeing the world through rose colored glasses. Life is a beautiful gift, no matter how that gift is wrapped whether it be in fancy, shiny foil wrapping or a plain paper bag.