We celebrated May Day yesterday by opening our front door and finding the sweet May Day basket our neighbor Diane hangs from our front door knob each year.
Full of fresh flowers (during warmer springs, plucked from her own garden), homemade candy, and other treats, the basket stands as another testament that we live in one of the world’s greatest neighborhoods.
But, even on the sunny side of our street, we are not immune to common horrors. So, we marked May Day this year another way as well, by offering a prayer for intercession to St. Peregrine, the Patron Saint of Cancer, whose feast day is May 1.
Badass by any religious standards, St. Peregrine was an activist, an advocate for the poor and a cancer survivor. In fact, he is one of very few Catholic saints who lived to the ripe old age of 80, despite being diagnosed with cancer two decades prior.
I like to give St. Peregine medals to people I know who are battling cancer, because they offer hope and a solid reminder of both secular and celestial support.
I have had a good success rate with my St. Peregrine medals, but I’d rather not have to buy them at all.
Did you know one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year? That’s an appalling statistic.
Our friend Karen has fought ovarian cancer into remission an astounding five times and is locked into a sixth battle, her fiercest yet, as we speak.
On Saturday we’re running the Soleburner in honor of Emma Blom, a beautiful seven-year old girl who died after a three-year battle with leukemia.
Is there anyone, anywhere who doesn’t know someone affected by cancer?
It’s an appalling, insidious disease and, as I heard of another diagnosis of another friend, I felt like yelling MAYDAY on May Day.
The good news is, there is great work being done, some of it right here in Wisconsin at the Carbone Cancer Center and the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research.
That research, and others like it, depends on financial support. So, that’s something we can do.
For instance, our friend Gina is raising funds via a triathlon for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, which rates four out of four stars on CharityNavigator.com. Nearly 85% of the funds it raises go directly to research.
Hopefully, we can all work together, researchers, donors, doctors, and patients to eradicate this awful disease.
Let’s give May Day back to the generous basket givers, and give poor old St. Peregrine a rest.