Everyone, and every family that has been touched by this horrible disease have their share of stories. There are the lows. There are the moments of hope and victory. There are the moments of dread and fear. For some cancers, including ovarian, (the one that touched our family) in the vast majority of cases there is a fight for several years, a fight for survival, for hope, but finally, a resignation, and defeat.
Along the way, there can be several snapshot moments that capture the deep contempt and hatred towards this killer. One of our moments, the moment that crystallized our movement, and desire to continue the fight against cancer by raising funds for research came several weeks before we lost our wife and mother, Jone. In an attempt to determine if the disease had spread to her lungs, Jone was undergoing a lung biopsy. This diagnostic test required inserting a probe through the nasal passage, all the way down the throat, and into the lungs where a small device can take tissue specimens. It is a terribly invasive procedure that is extremely painful and creates an enormous amount of stress on the respiratory system.
I sat outside the treatment room in a chair by myself, listening to what can only be described as torture, and wept quietly for what seemed like an eternity. When I was finally allowed to enter the room and be with my wife, I watched as she struggled courageously to try and breathe. It was one of the lowest points in our almost 4 year battle. Totally helpless, I silently prayed for her breath to return. We were both crying, but at least we were crying together.
Several minutes later a nurse entered the room and asked us simply, “How are you doing?” Given the circumstances of our situation, and what we had just endured, the banality of the question was almost absurd. I recognize today with the benefit of time and context that she meant no harm, and was just “doing her job”. My wife looked up at her, managed to catch her breath, and compose herself. With strength, resolve and anger that I had never seen before, and cold steely eyes, she responded, “How am I doing?! This is a walk in the park…FUCK CANCER!”
This courage and resolve was a beautiful testimony to my wife’s desire to live, her fight against cancer, and her passion for life. I knew at that moment that the emotions embodied in that two-word offensive attack on the torturous disease would be a mantra at some point in the future to galvanize and motivate support to continue the fight. Our beautiful wife and mother lost her life to Ovarian Cancer on January 9th 2010.
Thank you for your interest, passion and support. We who have lost so much to Cancer want to move past the fear of this disease. The anger and drive that burns inside us all is something that cancer should fear. There will come a day where through the collective efforts of so many people raising funds for research, and the tireless research of brilliant and dedicated Doctors and scientists we will kill cancer. Our journey is “just a walk in the park”.
- Hillel, Jacob Julie, and Claire Greenbaum
F*CK CANCER inwykiwyk™ is a new and innovative movement to unite the younger generation against a disease that has affected too many lives.
INWYKIWYK inc.™ an acronym (It’s Not What You Know, It’s Who You Know) embodies the notion that, in life, we gain strength from the people we know and the relations that we establish around us. By throwing charity events we create an opportunity for people to connect and gain support through meeting other individuals experiencing the same fight against cancer.
F*CK CANCER’s international efforts began in Montreal in 2010, by co-founder Julie Greenbaum, as a tribute to her mother who lost her life to ovarian cancer on January 9th, 2010. After an extremely uncomfortable and invasive biopsy, several weeks before she passed, a nurse came into the room and asked Julie’s mother, Jone, “So, how are you doing?” to which she replied with resolve and anger, “ How am I doing?! This is a walk in the park for me… F*CK CANCER!”
F*CK CANCER’s goal is to throw events all over North America to give young adults who have, in any way, been affected by the disease, a completely unique bonding experience. Entrance to the event is in the form of a t-shirt, rather than a ticket, that reads “F*CK CANCER” in different colors, representative of various cancer ribbons. Money raised goes directly to major cancer research facilities, including, thus far, Segal Cancer Center of the Jewish General Hospital, in Montreal, Canada, and UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.