Manny in Hospital

Relay for Life

Some months ago, almost my entire family took part in the Relay for Life, a 24-hour fundraising event. I posted about it beforehand. We raised over AU$20,000. Below is a speech I gave during the formalities.

On Fighting Back

Since my son Emmanuel was diagnosed with liver cancer when he was 11 months old, I have been reflecting on the idea of the ‘battle with cancer’ and how it could apply to one so young. Was he too young to be able to battle anything, let alone cancer? Does he even know what is going on? Is he capable of fighting back? I am not sure if Little Manny is in the way you or I are, but that doesn’t matter because I am not really a good fighter, I give up too easily. But Manny has shown me what it means to be a good fighter. He has shown me to always be positive, to keep keeping on, not lie down and let things overwhelm me, to walk forward with my head held high and my eyes on the horizon. Live in the moment, don’t wallow in misery for too long or you’ll miss out on what’s happening now, which you may never be able to get back. After our experiences with Manny, I know that if I ever have to go through what he has, I will know what to do. He has been the example for me.

He has been poked, pricked, prodded, pushed, pulled, and pumped full of more drugs than I care to remember. He has had major surgery which has left him with half a liver (the only organ that is capable of regenerating). I’ve never had a general anaesthetic; Manny’s had about 5. He’s been through the wash, wrung out and hung to dry. Multiple times. But he’s not let that stop him. Cancer? Pah, he says! Chemotherapy? Bring it on, he cries! All Manny cares about are his broom-brooms and throwing balls around the house. And milk from Mummy, but that’s another story. Nothing has stopped him smiling and laughing up at us for too long, or waving at the nurses and doctors, or at any random person for that matter. He still gets sick with excitement when he gets his favourite truck to play with, or when its time to read ‘Where is the Green Sheep?’ or any of his other favourite books (again). Manny has the resilience of children, but he also has a friendly and outgoing nature that makes the battles faced by friends and family more easy to bear.

We are all fighters, all of us here. Just by being here, taking part in an event such as this, we are all part of the global search, the fight for a cure for cancer. Everyone that donated or helped or supported is part of the fight. And the greatest weapon we have is hope. We must never lose hope. We must never lose hope.

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May the Fourth

Image from Wikipedia.

May the Fourth Be With You!

Hooray! Today is Star Wars day, May the fourth. Which is what a Jedi Knight would say if he or she had a bad lisp. I thought I’d share with you my most and least favourite Star Wars moments.

By far my least favourite moment is in Episode 3, when the newly cyborg-ified Darth Vader learns of his belovéd’s death at his own hands, and getting really, really angry, things start breaking and falling over and steam escapes from pipes, and he lets out an almightily corny, ‘Noooooooo…’. That’s my least favourite moment.

Choosing a most favourite moment is much more difficult. It has to be from the first three movies, or wait, no… is that the last three? Anyway. I think that among all my favourite bits, like when C3-PO and R2-D2 meet the Jawas, and when Qui-gon Jinn, young Obi-wan Kenobi, and Jar-jar Binks walk calmly into the Nubian lake to swim to the underwater Gungan city while fitting little underwater  breathing apparatus to their mouths, and all the bits with the Ewoks, my favourite Star Wars moment is, in Episode 5, The Empire Strikes Back, the snow battle with the AT-ATs. I think they are my favourite machine in all the movies too. I made one from Lego once! I can’t actually pinpoint one favourite moment out of all the cool moments.

So what is your most or least favourite Star Wars moment?