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All of Us, by Tom Thon

I have been a resident of Columbus for over 35 years. My business career has been in media, primarily managing radio stations. As radio stations are licensed by the federal government, licensees are required to “give back” to their respective communities–usually by PSA’s and other related public affairs programming. So I experienced the requirement of giving back as part of my job. But more importantly, I soon realized it was the right thing to do. And I also recognized that it was relatively easy to exceed the minimum expectations of a station licensee. So exceed we did. And my recognition of “doing the right thing” is what brought me to the Cancer Support Community (CSC).

I was introduced to the CSC in 2014 via a media job in the outdoor/billboard industry. Clear Channel Outdoor was actively engaged w CSC on an in-kind marketing donation/PSA basis. The more I got to know CSC leadership and WHAT IT DID, the more I grew to appreciate and recognize the mission. And I quickly accepted the opportunity to become a Board Member when offered.

Cancer sucks. We all know it. And we ALL have been affected by the “C”. ALL OF US. Fortunately for me and my family, its direct impact on us has been relatively small. Of course losing a family member at any time to any disease is no small thing, but my “direct impact” was losing my fiancée’s father to lung cancer many, many years ago. Perhaps the length of time that has passed since his passing makes the direct impact seem less direct.

Unfortunately since “Mr. O’s” passing 35+ years ago, the list of our friends affected by cancer has grown. Just like ALL OF US. Breast cancer, multiple times. Lung cancer (I left Kobacker House less than an hour before a friend passed). Melanoma, multiple times. Prostate, multiple times. Compiling this list is difficult. Makes me appreciate how fortunate my family is. And it makes me appreciate the value of Cancer Support Community.

Think about what we do: “So that no one faces cancer alone”. We are dedicated to providing wellness alternatives, support and opportunities for cancer survivors and their families at no charge. Zero. Zilch. All provided by a staff that cares more than probably I can fully appreciate. ALL OF US care–but the Cancer Support Community staff – THAT’S CARING! Our staff cares for a living!

In closing, I reflect back on a father and son who came to a Board meeting to share their cancer story. How it had and has affected them. And how the Cancer Support Community had affected them. We provided them a home of sorts…a home of comfort and caring. A home of refuge from this damned disease. A home for nutrition. Yoga. Tai Chi. Networking and Support groups. Meditation. All in a beautiful facility that feels like a home…away from cancer. And without the worry of an associated expense. Zero. Zilch.

Spread the word about the Cancer Support Community. ALL OF US need it.

Tom Thon

Written by: Tom Thon, Cancer Support Community Central Ohio Board of Directors Member