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Pam McMillan a native to the Texas Panhandle is a registered nurse, wife and mother. During her career she has developed a passion for serving those suffering from cancer. Her current role is leading the survivorship program on behalf of the Harrington Cancer and Health Foundation. She continues to serve those individuals and families across the region that are affected by cancer. Follow her on Twitter @pammo10

Thank You, No Thank You

Have you every been apart of something so touching that it just puts a big smile on your face, warms your heart, and maybe even brings out a few tears?

Thank You, No Thank You

Have you every been apart of something so touching that it just puts a big smile on your face, warms your heart, and maybe even brings out a few tears?
Recently, I was able to get to experience that.  I am fortune to work for a non-profit organization that has many wonderful programs.  However, I am extremely passionate about one of our programs, the 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center. 
Every year, we have one large fundraising event to raise money that comes directly back to support the center.  This allows us to offer a wide range of programs FREE to cancer survivors.  I believe that it is an event that everyone needs to experience.
It all started because one person heard the words, “You have Cancer”, which thankfully turned was a misdiagnosis.  In 2007, this event started as the country’s only simultaneous 24-hour road and mountain bike event.  Over the past 10 years, the organization has raised $1,338,400 to help survivors.
This year’s event had a huge impact on me along with so many others.  As the 786 riders, from 16 different states, lined up to start the race, the survivorship center had three busloads of survivors cheering on the riders and showing their appreciation.  There are no words that adequatey describe the interaction between riders and survivors.  It was the most powerful thing I have seen in a long time.  The riders were thanking the survivors, but then the survivors were thanking the riders.  The appreciation the riders had for those that have fought cancer left me speechless. 
Cancer doesn’t sleep, so why should we?  The race continued in the beautiful Palo Duro Canyon State Park for 24 hours.  Many riders have their own reason for riding, some for competition; many have been affected by cancer, while others just wanted to join in on this one of a kind event.  But yet so many were affected by the line up of survivors at the start line.  It’s paying it forward at it’s best. 
Have you recently made a difference in your community? It all starts with one idea and can lead to something as powerful as the 24 Hours in the Canyon.  Take the challenge and make the difference for you and your community. 


Talk about this article with nurses and others in the oncology community in the General Discussions Oncology Nursing News discussion group.
More from Pam McMillan, RN, OCN
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As a young adult with cancer you may feel like a prisoner in your own world. How can nurses help this age group?
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