Watch Naomi's video above. Her mom and uncle both had cancer. Her uncle died of it when Naomi was very young.
"Last night, I spent about a half hour crying," Naomi says in the video. "It was what should have been my uncle's 43rd birthday, so my family had remembrance stuff all over Facebook. As I was reading through old memorial pages, I started feeling guilty that I hadn't gotten to know him as I should have."
"My uncle Jeremy Paster died about seven and a half years ago from prostate cancer when I was seven years old." Naomi continues. "I was too young to have many clear memories of him when he wasn't sick, so I have no way of knowing him anymore."
"Two years after he died, my mom was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer at age 38. Luckily, she's been cancer-free for five years, but it was hard for my family to go through that again."
"No young adult cancer is fair," says Naomi. "But after having seen two adults I love fight for their lives against cancers people their age aren't supposed to get, I've had a pretty good look at how cancer really affects people."
Naomi's mom is, like me, out of the horror of basic treatment, but cancer remains part of her life. Jeremy was an activist for peace, justice, and the environment, and from what Naomi and her mom have told me about him, he was totally one of us. Weird and proud. And trying to live a beautiful life for as long as possible.
Published 11:30 am Thu, Jan 30, 2014
books, cancer, Young Adult