There are many people in this world who have inspired me over the years including those extremely known such as, but not limited to, Susan B. Anthony, Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, Clara Barton (who I dressed up as in the 8th grade) and so many more. All of these women made their mark on the world because they supported causes that meant a great deal to them and took risks to make things happen.
There are also many women in our lives, mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces and friends that inspire us as well, who might not (at least not yet) be famous, but who are special to us in many ways.
A woman who I have found to be incredibly inspirational, and someone who I have been fortunate to live next door to for this past year is my neighbor, and new friend, Donna McCart. She's a loving and wonderful human being, and mother, who does for others, especially her friends and family, before she does for herself, and is one of the most selfless people I know. She is a true inspiration. She also manages to always, and I mean always, find the silver lining of every cloud despite how sometimes dark life may get.
Nearly every day Donna posts words of wisdom on Facebook, including motivational quotes. She lives her life her life by these standards with this inspirational approach despite obstacles that cross her path. She is also that person who has a smile on her face often despite adversity.
Last year, Donna's life, and that of her family, was turned upside down when her husband Ray was diagnosed with a rare brain cancer that changed their lives in an instant. The culprit, Glioblastoma Multiforme IV (GBM).
According to the National Brain Tumor Society GBM is the most common and aggressive malignant primary brain tumor in humans, which can spread to nearby tissue, grow rapidly, and accounts for 17 percent of all primary brain tumors.
Through everything that Donna and her family have been through, and especially with Ray's cancer diagnosis, she has, at least from what I have seen, been an iron clad strength and spirit despite it all.
If that's not inspiration than I don't know what is. It is this that inspired me to write and dedicate this blog to her honor.
When I asked Donna if I could share her personal story and experience regarding Ray she said, "I am absolutely thrilled that you would want to share [my] story [and] please feel free to share whatever and however you want to. It, unfortunately, is a fact of life and I'm just doing the best I can to make margaritas out of the lemons of life."
To help her cope with her "new normal", Donna has been documenting her experience regarding her husband of now 25 years on the Caring Bridge networking site here, an online community that connects families and friends when health matters most.
Donna says "this cancer affects only tends of thousands (some reports say 20,000 and some say 30,000 of people each year so unfortunately that along with the quick progression of the disease have not allowed this cancer to make the progress in research that has been made in the others."
This is why there is such a need to help this cause where research is greatly needed.
Therefore, I wanted to make a plea to you today.
There are many causes in this world that many of us support. And, we all know that every little bit counts. Donating does not have to be monetarily large. Every penny counts towards cures. Today, Daniel, Sarah and I are donating to support this cause that is now near and dear to us since this cancer now has a face, and it belongs to Ray McCart.
I implore you to consider to donate to help support this cause, however much you are able to give. Donations can be made to the American Brain Tumor Association online here.
Please help us in joining the fight to support this cause of GBM.
Thank you for letting me share with you this story of The McCarts and in honoring Donna, a strong, willful, and inspiring woman.
Today, February 2, is also World Cancer Day. Let's do what we can to help find cures for cancer, think of loved one's whose lives have been lost, the millions of survivors overcoming cancer, and the many, like Ray McCart who continue to fight this battle everyday.