This weekend marks National Cancer Survivors Day. Each year, the Triumph Cancer Foundation participates in UC Davis Cancer Center’s annual picnic along with many other cancer-related organizations that offer support and resources to cancer survivors. For us, not only is it an opportunity to celebrate this special day, but also to share with other cancer survivors what Triumph is all about. Every year, through this event, we find new participants for our fitness program. The event is free to the public and takes place on Saturday, June 1st from 11 AM – 1 PM at the new UC Davis Cancer Center.
In 2012, at the annual Survivors Day event, we met a young man named Eddie Salazar. He was nearing the end of his treatment for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and stopped by our booth to learn more about Triumph Fitness. He was quiet, but clearly interested. Eddie enrolled in our next Triumph session. He was our youngest participant to date. The day Eddie completed our 12-week program we celebrated his 23rd birthday. After Triumph, Eddie was a different person – strong and confident. He has remained actively involved with Triumph. He shared his story on our website and registered as a member of Team Triumph participating in the Davis Livestrong Challenge event in just a few weeks to raise money for two great cancer organizations. Eddie has been doing his part to pay it forward.
This weekend, I’ll be thinking quite a bit about Eddie. Cancer has paid him another visit. And he is now back in the fight. Eddie really wanted to volunteer at our Triumph booth this year to share with new cancer survivors how much Triumph helped him. He had also been training for the Livestrong Challenge ride in June before the recurrence diagnosis. Due to his current treatment, he won’t be able to participate on Saturday or at the upcoming ride. But while he can’t be there in person, that doesn’t mean we can’t share his story. And this time around, as he fights his cancer, he has his Triumph family standing beside him and honoring him on National Cancer Survivors Day – and every day.
– Pam Whitehead