November is best known for the awareness of Pancreatic Cancer, supporting color purple; lung cancer, supporting color pearl; stomach cancer, supporting color periwinkle; and carcinoid cancer, (a type of cancer that starts in cells that make up the skin or the tissue lining organs, such as the liver or kidneys) supporting color zebra.
November also draws awareness toward Epilepsy, supporting color purple; Alzheimer’s Disease, supporting color purple; and Diabetes, supporting color grey or red.
Millions are fighting for their lives all over the world with these different diseases. Many people on this campus alone have in some way been affected, either directly or relationally. Some have family members or friends fighting right now or who have previously fought the battle in the past, others may have lost friends or family members, and others may even be battling diseases themselves.
Rachel Ward, a current freshman at Johnson, was relationally affected when she found out her father was diagnosed with stage 4 head and neck cancer. Valiantly her father fought, and after two years with the cancer and one year of extensive treatment, he came out victorious. Rachel said that going through that experience really built their family’s faith. “Complete and total faith in the Lord preformed miracles in my dad. The power of prayer is something that was really important in my family [while going through this time].”
Lindsey Tenholder, another freshman at Johnson, was relationally affected when she found out in March of 2013 that her father had terminal stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. The doctors gave him two months to live, but grace gave him until December of 2014, and then he passed away. Lindsey says that because her father was a believer, it made things easier. “We all believed that God had a plan for it,” Lindsey said. For others that may be going through an experience similar to this now, Lindsey’s advice is: “Don’t think that God did this to make you miserable. He does have a plan. God always has a plan, even if it seems difficult to see.” Lindsey commented that through her experience, “[God] brought my family together, and that was a miracle.”
Alyssa Shepherd, a sophomore at Johnson, is relationally affected to disease herself. Both her parents have diabetes, her great aunt suffers from alzheimer’s, and she lost her grandfather to cancer. Alyssa explained, “It is important for others to be aware of these different diseases because they are very common, and the reality is that it can happen to you. You should always watch for symptoms and for reasons to go get checked out, because it is very common.”
There are so many others that are both relationally and directly affected by each one of these diseases. People pass them every day walking to class, they sit next to them in chapel, and they even eat with them. They are fellow students, professors, and even the person in the Walmart check-out line. They are real and they are fighting a fight that no one ever wants to go through.
To show support for the ones fighting these battles, November 17th will be the day to take the pledge to wear purple. Take a picture of yourself wearing purple, and tag JU_RoyalScribe on a social media site! Also, on this day, take the time to pray for the millions affected, whether it be directly or relationally. Let them know they are not alone.