Being diagnosed with blood cancer at 23 years old drastically changed my life. Battling cancer was the most challenging thing I have ever experienced, but it amazingly has had a positive impact on my life. Through all the darkness of chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and radiation, cancer has taught me the essential things in life.
There is no reason to ever stress over the small stuff, some people have it so much worse, and we often take the best things in life for granted. Sadly, it took a cancer diagnosis for me to realize this, but moving forward; I will never take a day for granted and cherish every moment I have on this beautiful planet with my friends and family.
I joined Light The Night to help raise money for new and innovative cancer research that will one day lead to a cure. I am fortunate that my cancer treatment resulted in full remission, but not all patients are as lucky as me.
Light The Night is a unique event that reminds me that even though my battle with cancer may be done, the war on cancer isn’t over. The white lanterns make me realize the number of people in our city that have been directly affected by cancer, and the red lanterns show how many more people are indirectly affected. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t just affect the patient; it affects there friends, family, and loved ones all around. Seeing all the red lanterns provides me with a sense of courage and strength, knowing there is a blood cancer community supporting one another. The gold lanterns remind me that the war is not over, and we all need to continue helping until we find a cure so all cancer patients can share the same story as me with a happy ending.
I was able to reach the $5000 milestone from the help of my friends and family. My older brother Peter Dietrich has supported me throughout my life and especially during my cancer diagnosis. My brother Peter put together a tennis fundraising series, “Play For a Purpose,” that has resulted in the majority of my donations.
All Canadians are at risk of blood cancer. It’s better to support funding for a cure before you or a loved one needs the treatment.
A wise wizard once said “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” - Dumbledore