Sunday, December 8, 2013

In Memory Of Steve Kurtz 

Yesterday, on the anniversary of the horror remembered as Pearl Harbor, it is still Cancer that has taken the lives of more people than all the wars combined, but, this crucible of death, kills its victims one at a time. Each of us have experienced the death of a loved one or an acquaintance from Cancer one death at a time.

Steve Kurtz, my son-in-law and soul mate of my daughter, Sherri, for forty years was the father of two : daughter, Alix, and son, Stephen. He died on Dec. 8, 2009 from a losing battle with Cancer. To all who knew Steve, his death was a close personal loss. To number crunchers, his death added just one to the total number they tally for a report on Cancer deaths. 

This is also "Jimmy V Week" known to basketball enthusiasts when country wide donation appeals are everywhere on television to support Cancer research. A much heralded basketball coach, Jim Valvano, died from Cancer during his prime years, much like my son-in-law, and, to their credit, the basketball community unselfishly took up the challenge to fund Cancer research and labeled it "Jimmy V Week".

Off budget our country has fought two very expensive wars while also off budget our country has decided to add trillions of dollars to the debt. As a culture America has long passed over the idea of paying for things as they occur; such as for wars or tax relief for the super rich. What would happen if a couple of trillion dollars were spent on eradicating Cancer instead of buying bullets or drones or nukes?

Parceled out, one at a time, the enormity of the total deaths from Cancer loses urgency in a society's psyche. The public embraces the aftermath of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, just about any earthly malfunction since they visually abrupt the norm of the day. Cancer is stealth like, progressively declining its victim's vigor, silently encroaching on a life style, and then Cancer begins its demand for its pound of flesh. Only the end remains !

The Relay For Life has taken up the challenge locally with an appreciated success for its record fund raising performances over the years. When will the spirit of The Relay For Life enter every legislator's soul to draw their thinking to make war on Cancer rather than war on countries and cultures?

I think of Steve, my parents, my business partners, my classmates, my co-workers, my relatives, my close friends, my ... the list goes on and on in an endless addition of death from Cancer. To me, the enormity of just the totality of Cancer victims that I knew, mirrors an earthly catastrophe. Legislators, where are you hiding when the sky is falling down all around you ?

Ronald C. Downie
Reposted because it is still relevant !

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