8:00 in the morning on a Saturday.
No matter what is going on at that hour, most college students and faculty alike cringe at the idea of waking up and being productive that early on a weekend. I did not know what to expect when I volunteered to sign up to help out for Phi Delta Epsilon (the medical fraternity on campus) at the annual Premier Care Foundation Prostate Cancer Walk on the Walkway over the Hudson, but I know that getting up at 7am on a Saturday is a small price to pay in comparison to what people dealing with Prostate Cancer deal with everyday. I simply helped facilitate the registration of previously unregistered walkers and families, but little did I expect to have the experience that I had that day.
One of the many lessons I learned that day, is that it really is, a “small world”. I worked alongside by complete coincidence, Karen Kara’s (the athletic administrative assistant at Marist) sister, and a fellow sophomore whom I had never met until that day, but I am truly touched that I did.
Kelsey Taylor, (Marist 15’) is a sophomore Biomedical Science student hailing from Sutton, Massachusetts. Behind all the generics though, is a story that I felt was worth telling. A story of hope. Kelsey was in 8th grade when her father was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, the same disease that 6 years later, she was helping to volunteer for a cure. She described the years following the diagnosis as a blur of countless hospital visits, long nights and even longer days. He was diagnosed on Christmas, but out of love for her, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor waited to tell her so that she could appreciate the beauty of Christmas that year. Scary, right? It’s funny how one day everything can be going fine, if not great, and the next day, your entire world could be turned completely upside down.
6 years, chemotherapy, hospital stays and sleepless nights later, Mr. Taylor has been completely cleared since her junior year of high school. 6 years later, Kelsey is still helping to support a cause so that others do not have to go through what she and her family went through. She continues to give hope to others by volunteering to help find a cure, in a field that she is going into in a few years. Talk about a happy ending.
It was a beautiful day on the Hudson as thousands walked in memory, support, and out of just plain kindness for those affected by Prostate Cancer. People made donations in the hundreds, and it reminded me that there still is hope for humanity in this world. People still care about other people.
So what’s the lesson here?
As the great Plato once said, “be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle”.
By: Alex McCahill 15’