We welcome Andy Vu to The Samfund blog for the next in our “Why I Unmasque” series. Cancer has affected his life in myriad ways, and we thank him for sharing his story and his dedication with us. If you’d like to honor a friend or a loved one at this year’s Unmasque Cancer event on 4/29, you can purchase a $5 tribute candle here: www.bit.ly/unmasquecandle
Unfortunately, Cancer has become a common word in our vocabulary. Ask around and most people probably have a connection to it; whether firsthand or amongst friends and family.
My first introduction to cancer was at a very young age when my aunt was diagnosed. Personally, I didn’t really know what was happening, except the fact that she was sick, making a lot of trips to the hospital, but always welcoming when we would visit. She never did recover and passed soon after being diagnosed. At that point, I first realized the damage this disease inflicts physically and emotionally.
Later, as a young adult, I received the gut-wrenching news that my mother was diagnosed with the same cancer that succumbed my aunt (her elder sister) a decade or so earlier. Luckily, with the awareness to test and the advancement of treatment, she has survived a couple stints of cancer, and is continuing to enjoy life.
More recently, I have personally dealt with fighting cancer and other family and friends have or are currently fighting forms of this disease. It takes an emotional toll on everyone, and personally I think it’s more emotionally taxing for the support group than it is the patient. Unfortunately, I’ve dealt with the emotions many times over the years amongst family, friends, and colleagues.
After my treatments a few years ago, I experienced firsthand the financial effects. The fight isn’t only taxing emotionally and physically, but also on the wallet. Even after defeating the enemy of cancer, the financial effect can remain an uphill battle. The roller coaster isn’t done when the treatments are over and after the doctor says, “You’re cancer free!” You soon realize that you’re still on this ride when you get that first medical bill in the mail. The Samfund supports this important phase in this fight that no one ever thinks about.
I’m excited for the 2nd annual Unmasque event in Los Angeles and glad to support the efforts and contributions that The Samfund is making.