It is known that our reactions to some things come very naturally. When we hurt, we cry, when we are happy we smile and when we are challenged with something difficult, we are afraid. But there are other things that I believe should be equally instinctual.
Today, I ask you to all put into practice the instinct of humanity, of community and of a basic human need - LOVE.
For those of you who follow me and have seen or been a part of anything I do, love, charity, and humanity are at the core of it all. For what more beautiful a thing could there be than to give of yourself for others in this way. Something sadly many people don't have or make little time for. For me, things of this nature are instinctual.
In that same light, celebrating birthdays and human life at every turn is also extremely important to me - mainly because I suffer from something that robs me of it every day. I love the acknowledgment of birthdays especially. After all, they are the very essence of our reason for being on this earth and should always be received with great joy. But for many, this is a difficult task - especially when you are faced with troubles or your life takes a very sudden and unexpected turn.
Today, I'd like to introduce you to a man, who by chance is celebrating a birthday - only not so much celebrating as he is surviving at the moment. Someone I barely know and that may be the case for you too. Whether you know him or not, you will surely know (or can relate) to his story in some way.
A few short months ago we as a nation were introduced to a pandemic called COVID19 and it would change our lives forever. For James Rosati this would be the beginning of a most difficult and trying journey. COVID19 would be the second word that would impact his life this year, the first word was cancer.
Imagine. The 3 words that would open up the earth beneath you and swallow anyone whole - "YOU HAVE CANCER". A reality that no one would ever wish to be theirs. Yet, this is what James heard, one faithful day early this year. If that isn't enough to bring you to your knees, the next words surely would. "We cannot operate on your tumor because of COVID19. All surgeries that are non-essential have been postponed, and yours is one of them." In an instant, the fate of your future has been determined by a world virus and your life hangs in the balance. Not only are you now faced with the reality of a life-altering illness but you cannot begin the process of healing your body because it has been deemed a "non-essential" thing. Not only is God judging but now apparently man and government are too. Oh, what a cruel thing life can be at times, trying your will at every turn.
After some time of living with this new reality of cancer and COVID, James was finally able to have a successful operation and is currently undergoing treatment for his cancer. A battle far from over but, he is trying his best to keep strong. But in times such as this, it is very difficult to keep mentally upbeat. For cancer doesn't just eat away at the body but, it also crushes your soul. It allows the darkness to come and set up shop in your mind and in your heart, convincing you that your life is meaningless and the fight - too trying for you to win. On the days that your physical wellbeing is compromised, your spirit cries out louder, making it damn near impossible to have the courage and the will to take another step. This is Jame's new reality every day but, he bravely soldiers on, as so many have before him.
Fast forward to today - James Rosati 's birthday. Not knowing how he would feel about this one or if he would be in any kind of mood to celebrate, he and his family took a different approach. Today, instead of concentrating on himself, he has chosen to make charity and awareness his focus. Today, he takes his power back by choosing to celebrate HOPE instead of giving in to despair - and I think that should be celebrated! I think HE should be celebrated!
So I am asking all of you, my blog and social media community, my Vaughan community, and my community of human beings to help me in granting this man his birthday wish today.
James would like to try and raise some money for the Canadian Cancer Society - $335 to be exact. Not a big ask, as far as I am concerned. In fact, I am looking at surpassing this goal in a big way, with your help. So what do you say, will you help me do this for him? Will you help James make this, one of his most memorable birthdays ever?
Simply click on the "donate now" link or bar below this post, and make a donation toward a life-threatening illness that has taken enough of our loved ones from us, and has made the rest struggle in unimaginable ways. Today, let's say "WE'VE GIVEN YOU ENOUGH, CANCER!!" Today we say, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAMES!
Please give generously, thank-you!