CERN Foundation Brings People Together
— Categories: Ependymoma Community Posted on July 3, 2019
CERN brings two ependymoma survivors together across the country and globe. Adam is from California and Allie is from Kansas. Both were diagnosed with ependymoma, in almost the same spots in the left occipital lobe.
By Adam H.
Those of us with ependymoma know that cancer can take so much from our lives, so very much, but there is a side of cancer that we often overlook, and that’s the gifts of cancer. It’s odd to say it, but cancer can bring people together, families, friends, communities together to rally around us and support us, to focus on life, keeping what we have together, and giving us the strength to press on. It makes life real and deep, more meaningful than what we may have ever experienced before. The CERN Foundation is a gift, fighting cancer, and supporting ependymoma patients in ways we could not do as individuals. In some respects, despite the pain and the uncertainty, cancer can be a gift. For Adam H. and Allie M. and their family and friends learned the goodness of cancer amongst the pain of cancer.
CERN brings people together across the country and globe. Adam is from California and Allie is from Kansas. Both were diagnosed with ependymoma, in almost the same spots in the left occipital lobe. Adam was diagnosed in 2014 and while recovering in 2015, wrote a book, Anchored in the Storm, and subsequently in 2016 an article for the CERN website. That’s where Allie and her family met Adam, on the CERN website. Allie’s father, Chris, reached out to Adam through Facebook and that’s where the gift of cancer was shown. Allie, Adam, and Chris would continue discussions, questions, dialogues through Facebook for the next couple of years. Adam and Chris talked on the phone several times extending their conversations beyond cancer to life and a life well lived, and the recurrence of Allie’s cancer in 2019. In one conversation, Chris and Adam were talking summer plans, and Adam mentioned a trip to Texas to visit some family, and they talked about how nice it would be to get together.
In June, they would all convene in Denton, TX, Allie, Chris, Allie’s mom, Doneen, drove seven hours to get there and Adam flew in from LA, visiting family and friends, Steve and Lesly. They first met at church that Sunday morning and it was as if they had all known each other for decades. After church they spent a couple hours over lunch talking about ependymoma, but also beyond that they talked about life, what all have learned through the struggles of life, and enjoying each other’s company. For all this meeting was an answer to prayer.
As they all left, it was commented that “We met as friends, and left as family!” and truly for all it was. Allie, Adam, Chris and Doneen, Steve and Lesly, and Allie’s husband, Mitch, who couldn’t visit because of work, and all are looking forward to the next time they can be together.
Cancer can, and does, take a lot from our lives, but let’s remember that it can give us great things, expanded friendships, amazing stories to tell and share, and life, a life where we understand life, the real meaning and purpose. Thank you all for telling your stories and thank you CERN for you support and helping us ependymoma warriors!