For each PuppyUp Walk, the Event Manager and their Walk Team select both a Human Cancer Hero and a Canine Cancer Hero, to be honored during the Walk ceremonies.
These Heroes are chosen because of their exemplary attitude towards their particular type of cancer, showing bravery and hopefulness in their fight against this terrible disease.
This year’s Human Cancer Hero is CJ Furchert.
Cancer is a word that has haunted me every day for eight years now. While it has instilled a fear in me, it has also changed my life for the better.
At just 14 years old, I found a lump the size of a golf ball sticking out of the inside of my ankle. After being told it was a ganglea first, then just a fatty tumor, I was diagnosed with Sarcoma Cancer. Just two short weeks later, I underwent a 14 & 1/2 hour reconstructive surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center followed by a 15 day stay in ICU. Then I was put on strict bed rest at home for an additional 11 weeks. It was a roller coaster of emotions, some of the most challenging months of my life- something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy.
Although difficult, I am grateful for what the experience taught me. I learned that it can always be worse, and I realized how precious life truly is. You don’t know what tomorrow holds, or even the next hour. Enjoy every moment and appreciate every person who stands by you and loves you. And remember, Cancer is a word not a sentence!