I was born and raised in the Midwest.
My father was an electrician.
My mother was a nurse.
My family is mostly white and middle-class.
My dad worked as a foreman on a coal-fired power plant and my mom worked at a hardware store.
My grandfather was a truck driver, my grandmother was a teacher, and my great-grandmother was a homemaker.
The only time I was ever a kid, my dad and I used to spend weekends in the neighborhood.
Our neighborhood had a lot of white kids who were into football, baseball, and basketball, but I didn’t have any friends who were like that.
I was never really into sports.
I didn and don’t play baseball.
I’m not really into basketball.
I like to watch movies.
I would have probably been a great athlete and football player.
But my dad never gave me a reason to like the game.
My mom always wanted me to go to college.
I did, but she didn’t want to send me to a college.
We weren’t very good friends, so she just went out and bought me my first pair of basketball shoes.
I guess I always felt like I wasn’t good enough for college.
And then my grandfather died and I went to live with my grandparents for a while.
I never thought much of it, but after a few months, my grandfather told me about the disease.
My grandmother was an ER doctor.
She worked in a hospital for 30 years, and she got really sick at some point.
And my grandfather went into surgery for pneumonia, and then died, and he was gone.
I had no idea that this disease was something like that until I was 19, 20 years old, and I got to see my grandmother in surgery for the first time.
She was really sick.
I remember being on the operating table, and the nurse, who’s also a nurse, said, “She’s not breathing.”
And I was like, “Yeah, right.”
And she said, [sighs].
I didn`t have any idea.
It just kind of happened.
So, when I got home, I just had this flashback of the last time I saw my grandma, the way she looked at me.
And I had this really horrible feeling, like, oh, this is it.
And so, I went over to my grandmother, and we hugged.
I hugged her, and her body just kind a melted away, and all I could do was cry, because I had never seen her like that before.
My grandma told me that she was so happy to see me and talk to me, and that she always wanted to talk to my mom.
My great-great grandmother was like a saint to me.
I still remember going to her house and going up to her room and seeing her.
She had this huge red heart on her bed.
She wanted to come up to me and kiss me.
She would just stand there and just talk.
And she would be crying and she would just tell me stories.
She said, you know, I remember when I was young, you would have to sit down on the porch to be on her level, and when she would go up to you, you just sat there and you would just listen.
And you could tell how much she loved you.
She loved me so much.
And when she died, she had all these stories.
I just never knew.
I haven`t really thought about it that much.
What I do know is, she always had so much love for me.
There was never anything she didn`T want to share.
I think that`s what people who don`t know her, or don`ts know her very well, are missing.
I`m a very introverted person.
I don`s have a lot to say.
I get shy, and it’s hard to talk, and sometimes I have a hard time listening to other people.
And the truth is, I know a lot about what happens to people with cancer, because when I`ve been on a lot [of chemotherapy], I have heard about other people dying, and people that have gone through chemo who had to go on a ventilator.
And all of those people that I knew have been through that.
And now I want to know about the cancer people who didn`s go through chemos and didn`ts.
I want you to think about them.
I have an opportunity now to be able to tell my story.
And that is something that I want people to know, because if you don` t know them, it makes it hard to care about them, to love them.
And it makes me feel like I can`t help, because all of these people have really good hearts.
I hope you get to know them.
Because if you do, you`ll really understand what I have gone thru.