[MOL] My Report on THE MARCH [02739] Medicine On Line

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[MOL] My Report on THE MARCH

My Dear Family,

I have a bit of time in my day to report to all of you my presence and 
participation at our MARCH.  It was a day filled with joy and miracles 
for me.  I had you all in my thoughts and heart as I made the journey of 
five hours by bus to the Washington Mall.  I managed to shoot a roll of 
film that I will have developed at a processor that can also give me the 
prints on computer disk so that I can send them to Ross to post on our 
photo site.

The bus departed from Westchester, New York at 5:30 am.  It was a 
disappointing start as only six people showed...and that included me!  It 
was to be an indication of the over all turn-out.  As a result, we were 
able to chat and get to really know each other and the small intimate 
group provided both space and time for meditation and prayer ... as they 
say, if life throws you a lemon, make lemonaide!  I used the time to 
recall all that has happened to me over the past year and a half, dwell 
in the friendships that I have made on Mol-cancer and reflect on all I 
have learned and the growth of my person in taking this journey.

The bus dropped us off a block away from the Mall.  Washington is an 
impressive and imposing city and it became even more so as I walked that 
block to a meeting of so many cancer survivors and those concerned with 
our journey.  The entire length of the Mall's boarders were dotted with 
white tents with a sea of people flowing in the middle.  There was an 
electricity that I could not ignore and it coursed through me as I 
entered that river of survivors.  The very first thing that stopped me 
was a display of the quilts in memory of the children we have lost to 
cancer.  I stood in prayer as I looked down upon each panel that depicted 
a favorite toy, a picture, a good bye poem, a tearful wish for peace.  As 
I took a couple of pictures I had to pause to wipe the tears...it is so 
very hard to say good bye to a child.  I finally said my own personal 
good byes to several children (including my own brother Richard) and 
turned my attention to the joyous celebration that was growing like an 
unfurling carpet that covered the Mall with a flow of people entering the 

There were representatives of every cancer, cancer group and association 
... even the Meat Association was there.  The organization of THE MARCH 
was very thoughtful and included tents for getting out of the hot sun, 
free bottled iced water, first aide tents staffed by oncology nurses and 
doctors, privacy tents for those requiring the need to change or tend to 
personal matters, a play area for children including face painting.  I 
visited and spoke with Mike Milken's personal chef and purchased her cook 
book on vegitarian cooking and will share with all as I begin my own 
journey into that relm :+)

I had contacted a person named Larry Baron about a month ago through this 
net when someone who is a teacher mentioned his Project Rosebud.  I 
became involved and introduced this into grades 1 through 4 in my own 
town.  Dr. Baron is a cancer survivor who had to stop teaching due to 
cancer of the leg...this survivor had recieved the National Golden Apple 
Teacher Award.  His contribution was to have children in 1,000 schools 
through out the US put together these tinny yellow (for hope) rose buds 
along with a note, thought, picture, drawing, or message for a cancer 
survivor.  It was a way of getting children involved, teaching them about 
cancer and empowering them with a way to contribute to THE MARCH against 

I never thought that, in that mass of people, he and I would ever meet.  
The second tent that I went to after viewing the quilt was covered with 
yellow roses and when I enquired about Dr. Larry Baron, a gentleman 
looked up at me a said "John?"!  It was one of those special moments that 
you know you are being guided by a higher power!  I spent several hours 
handing out those rose buds to those at the march and I have to say I 
met, spoke with and shared with so many people that I was truly touched 
by their stories of survivorship and their unbending gift of hope.

The speeches by Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts, Tipper and Al Gore, Cindy 
Crawford, Scott Hamilton and General Schwarzkopf provided hope and 
demanded the commitment of the resourses necessary to eradicate this 
disease called cancer.  The point made was that like polio and small pox, 
cancer can and will be conquered.  The battle cries heard were "Yes we 
can!" and "No More Cancer!"

All that I can say is that HOPE was the theme of the day and it was a 
celebration of life for all of those who attended!  My return home was 
filled with joy, determination to continue my participation in this 
journey, and a true sense of belonging to a group of very special people 
who make this a wonderful world to live in and pass through.

God Bless you all for being there with and for me.
>     ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Now you have to know that I am chomping at the bit to hear about
> Washington and you were there... so....Give it up, brother!!  I also
> want to know what you had on (not being ornery)... I think I may have
> spotted you on TV..  I was scanning through stations around 2 and
> found out it was on C-span.. so I atleast got to watch the last two
> hours...
> Looking forward to the update!!!  Love, Carla
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