The Debt I Cannot Repay
In today’s society, it is considerably rare to have the same group of close friends now as you did when you were growing up. Perhaps one or two of those childhood friends continue to be close to you, but for the most part, those past friends have moved on and made new friends. There is nothing wrong with this concept – it is completely normal for people to split up and head towards communities that they can better relate to, whether it is due to their career, relationships, or simply a need to find friends that more appropriately suit their own interests.
However, what is not so common among these types of people who migrate towards different friends is that, most of the time, one is not forever indebted to their childhood companions. This is where my case differs. That is right, I will say it again in a more direct manner. I am forever indebted to my friends. They, quite literally, saved my life. I hope they get around to reading this blog post because this serves as my official thank you note.
How My Friends Saved My Life
The week that I spent in the hospital, my friends would come up to visit me as often as they could. My assumption is that most people in their early twenties would have no idea how to act upon reception of the news that one of their close friends had just been diagnosed with cancer. However, my friends took this assumption and acted on it in the exact opposite fashion.
Almost immediately, they initiated a fundraiser titled “Pray for Paul” and they held an event on my 24th birthday at the local ice hockey rink where I spent much of my younger years. I wish I could put into words the atmosphere that existed at this event. It seemed as if the entire community of Gloucester was in attendance, not to mention my friends from Bryant University and the current Bryant Hockey Team. Everyone seemed so happy and excited to help out a local resident trying to deal with his first of twelve rounds of chemotherapy. The money that was raised help to pay off some of my outrageous hospital bills, to keep my student loans under control, and to help me introduce myself to my current organic nutritional lifestyle.
“We” Beat Cancer
To this day, I still tell my friends that I did not beat cancer, but rather, WE beat cancer. I am not the only cancer survivor in my friend group because we are ALL cancer survivors. We beat this nonsensical disease together. The day that fundraiser occurred, I realized that my friends had just become my brothers and sisters. True family.
Thank you, my friends. Because of you, I get to look forward to moving on with my life. Because of you, I get to wake up every day in my own bed as opposed to a hospital bed. Because of you, I get to write this blog and try to inspire others to encompass the perspective that I currently hold.
If we ever do begin to separate into our own, respective lives, one thing will always be certain. You will be able to tell your new friends, your spouse, children, and grandchildren, that you saved someone’s life from cancer.