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A TURNING POINT – MICHAEL’S EXPERIENCE AT ONE MILLION STRONG

one-million-strong-nasdaq

Every Revolution has a Vision

12950886333_cbb9026feeI was up on stage and gazed out at the large space we occupied in NYC at Grand Central Terminal and later at Times Square, where hundreds of people braved the cold and marched to see us ring the closing bell at NASDAQ. I saw people that were listening, experiencing, sharing, learning, crying, smiling and defiant about the number two cancer-related killer of men and women in the U.S. I literally had to pinch myself as I couldn’t believe I was here again, taking an active part in this well-coordinated event to kick off March and raise awareness in the prevention of Colon and Rectal Cancer.

This was my second colorectal cancer event for One Million Strong in NYC. Last year we spent much of the time outdoors. This year, luckily, we were inside for most of the happenings, which meant there was no loss of toes and fingers from the bitter cold and let me tell you, it was bone-chilling.

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I was asked during an interview: “Why are you here? Who are you marching for?” Before I answered, I thought about how Fight Colorectal Cancer brings people from different regions of the country and their experiences together. I also thought about how emotional of a happening One Million Strong is for others. And then I answered,

I’m marching for all the survivors, caregivers, providers and patients so they can come together with others who share their experience; helping them develop a support system, an extended family. I march so these people have a stage that allows us to speak for those who no longer have a voice.”

I reflect now on that question and I think I have a new answer.

After seeing the faces, feeling the passion and desire of this group, our partners, our team that puts a voice to this movement, I think the answer is simpler then I relayed during the interview . . .

I’m there for the hugs.”

I’m not kidding.

There was something so special about getting hugs from so many folks who I only knew from online or conference and web calls, or folks I haven’t seen in a year . . . the outpouring of love and affection moved me.

Last spring when I lost my mom it was a difficult period for me. I got through it by nasdaq-oms-2014immersing myself in work and burying the grief. I realized as I was in that vast room with all those fighters, we are in this together.

We need each other because our combined voices makes us better and stronger, provided we are united.

Those that were there representing loved ones or themselves were an inspiration. The made me want to raise my voice even louder! We are One Million Strong and we have a vision!

I’m so glad to be a part.

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