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Sharing the table

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Barilla, but opinions are my own.

My beloved and I distinctly remember the moment.  We were sitting at our dinner table in our first wee home. We locked eyes, and said to each other: “We’re ready.”  Ready, finally, to take the leap from where we were – a family of two committed people – into the inky unknown of two-plus.  If we were the luckiest people in the world, we would be led into that unknown by a few small people we could call our children.

Turns out we were indeed the luckiest people in the world.  My beloved’s will and bodily fortitude coupled not just with my own love and dedication, but with the courage and generosity of two old friends. One of them had a great idea (use my husband as your donor!), and the other of them (said husband) had great genes and an open heart.

Plenty of talking followed at each others’ dinner tables over the course of several months: we were proposing, after all, that we join our two families together with a uniquely powerful bond: children, our own and each other’s. There could be no knowing what that would feel like, yet also no going back.

#ShareTheTable

Of all the things that define our family, this non-nuclear beginning will always be one of the things I cherish most. Our children are quite literally the products of the best of what humans can do with and for each other.  They are precious harvest not just of love and will,  but also courage and generosity, and trust on all four of our parts. Without all these ingredients together, my beloved’s and my children simply wouldn’t exist.

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Do something about cancer

Everyone complains about cancer but few of us do anything about it.  Not because it doesn’t touch us; it does. I don’t know a person whom it hasn’t, directly or indirectly. It has changed (more appropriately rent) the fabric of my family of origin dramatically. (Aunt. Mother. Nephew.)

Most of us don’t do much about cancer because we have no idea what we can do, beyond informed changes in our personal habits. That changes with the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study.

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Study participants enrolling in the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) at The Villages at Carver Family YMCA, Atlanta, Georgia, March 8, 2013. [PHOTO CREDIT: ACS]

For some background: the American Cancer Society (ACS) studies have been instrumental in our learning about how we can prevent cancer. Past long-term studies have demonstrated the link between smoking and lung cancer; the impact of body mass on cancer risk; the impact of hormones, physical activity, and diet on cancer risk; and the link between aspirin use and reduced colon cancer risk.

The Cancer Prevention Study-3 is now out in the field: it’s a long-term study, running for 20 years, and aiming for hundreds of thousands of participants. They’ve got a lot now, but need more, and I’m writing this post to convince you to join me as one of them. It’s a once-in-a-generation opportunity to be part of something very big, and very consequential. Many participate out of a sense of protectiveness for their own or the next generation. Some, like me, will be participating as a way, one among many, of paying back a debt.

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