Continuous Improvement International is honored to support the American Cancer Society (ACS). Every year we give generously to ACS, and this year is no different.
When I was just three-years old, I lost my mother to colon cancer.
Scientists say your long-term memory starts around the age of three. I have just two memories of my mother. Two. And I have probably replayed them in my mind hundreds of thousands of times. Afraid that I might lose them. Afraid that I will lose the only memories of my mother that I will ever have.
After such a major loss, I never expected that cancer would strike again, but in 2009, my mother-in-law Carol was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. At the time, Tony and I were stationed at Travis AFB in California, so we petitioned the Air Force to return to my husband’s home state of South Dakota.
Every three weeks, she (Carol) flew from South Dakota to Dallas. Once she arrived in Dallas, her sister and brother-in-law drove her to Houston to receive treatments at MD Anderson. Every three weeks.
When you lose a close family member to cancer, it leaves a gaping hole in your heart that can never be fully healed. I believe that as you bring new people into your life, your heart grows bigger. My heart has expanded to bring in my husband, our two little boys and my step-mom who later officially adopted me. When your heart grows it makes that void feel a little smaller, but the void is always there.
Nothing can ever replace what cancer took away…but there is one thing, and only one thing, that eases the pain.
We were incredibly fortunate to have family to take my mother-in-law, Carol, to her treatments. Those treatments lengthened her life long enough for her to meet our first son, her first grandson. She passed on Sept 24, 2013, less than 4 months after Connor was born.
I remain committed to the American Cancer Society for one reason. For Hope. Hope for a world with less cancer and more birthdays. Hope for more memories.
Allison Advocating for the American Cancer Society
Author: Allison Greco
I created my foundation with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and MBA from the University of Oklahoma. Over the past decade, I have held Continuous and Process Improvement roles for Black Hills Energy, Williams, the US Air Force and BNSF Railway. I’ve started new CI programs and reinvigorated stale ones. Along the way I earned a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt and became a licensed Professional Engineer.