My name is Katie Na! I'm a junior Public Health major at UT, lover of puns, animals, sunshine and coffee, and I'm so thankful that you've taken the time to visit my T4K fundraising page!
I, alongside my 90 teammates, am raising money to fight cancer. Cancer was always one of those words that I heard in hushed whispers growing up. I associated it with hardship, pain, and a whole lot of hurt, but didn't grasp just how devastating the disease could be.
But then, I witnessed the effects of cancer on my grandparents, and the heavy repercussions following the diagnoses. My grandmother is a breast cancer survivor, and my grandfather fought pancreatic cancer until January 2017. And then, I met a man named Jay, a proud veteran with a golden heart and terminal adenocystic carcinoma. I initially met him as a volunteer for a nonprofit that assigned me to aid him with daily tasks in order to decrease the burden of the cancer. We went to the grocery store, took his dog to the vet, or stopped by Krispy Kreme for the occasional doughnut delight. Although Jay and I met under unfortunate circumstances, he has changed my life forever. Through befriending Jay, I have seen all that cancer can strip away from us. However, I have also seen the fierce love, resilience, laughter and wit with which Jay lives each day. Although each day holds an uncertainty of being his last, Jay continues to enjoy his favorite joys in life, like indulging in tacos with extra extra extra salsa on the side, or baking his favorite treats and sharing with his dog!
It is such an honor to have this privilege to advocate for my grandparents, for Jay, and for all who have suffered or are suffering from cancer, whether they're the ones fighting or are supporting a loved one. Please reach out; I would love to hear your stories and ride for you and your loved ones as well.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." - Joshua 1:9