directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Coryn's story

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Coryn's story

Ryan Salmon's story has raised a lot of awareness about the ongoing cancer fight and the steps the Columbus Blue Jackets are taking to assist in any way possible to help fight that fight.

Ryan's story was an inspirational and courageous one. One that I know I'm very grateful that he shared.

Unfortunately he isn't the only one out there.

Let me introduce you to Coryn.

The following are excerpts taken from her web site which can be found here.

Cancer is not biased.It prefers to strike no certain age, race or religion. Cancer doesn’t care if you are rich, poor, tall, short, strong or weak. It doesn’t mind if your eyes are blue, your car is fast or your friends are many. It comes like a monster out of the blue and it strikes whenever it gets the opportunity, even if it’s your birthday.

On April 12th 2005 our lives changed forever when that monster popped up at the least expected of times in the most unexpected place. Coryn turned six years old that day – and on an evening when we should have been eating cake and celebrating one more year in her life we were sitting in the emergency room of Children’s Hospital wondering if we would ever celebrate again.

An aggressive form of blood cancer – Acute Lymphoblastic T Cell Leukemia - had been quietly and swiftly taking over her body. Leukemia begins when a single immature blood cell is released into the system and multiplies out of control. Eventually crowding out all “good” blood cells and overtaking the body. At the time of diagnosis, 94% of Coryn’s blood was cancerous

I can not imagine the feeling of being told you have cancer – I do know what it feels like to be told your child has cancer and it is a feeling I hope we can someday prevent any other person from having to endure. Those first days and weeks there were two things I learned to do very well - cry and pray. The only things that kept me going were faith in God, hope for a miracle and the unwavering courage of that little girl in the hospital bed. Within one week of treatment there were no detectable “blasts” or cancerous cells in her body. Sixteen months later, there are still no detectable signs of leukemia in her system. Coryn continues chemotherapy treatment daily at home and monthly at the hospital through next July.

We have celebrated many days since that horrible day in April of 2005 and we will celebrate many, many more to come. Though it is hard to look at her now and imagine she might still have cancer, we know it is a lifelong fight. She is the strongest, bravest, most amazing person I have ever met, seen on TV or read about in books. She has endured being separated from her friends, losing her hair, swelling up from steroids and being poked and prodded by hundreds of needles. She has sat through countless long hours in the hospital and clinic, and every day swallows bad tasting medicine. Through it all she has faced cancer with more smiles than tears.

Like hundreds of thousands of other cancer patients before her, she is the definition of courage, she gives us all hope for a cure and she is an affirmation of our faith in miracles.

The story goes on to say that Coryn finished off her chemo in July of 07 and has never looked back. All signs indicate that she has "beaten the monster".

Like in Ryan's case the Blue Jackets have played a big role in helping Coryn and her family fight this very difficult fight.

I've gotten to know Coryn's mom Cathy through some email exchanges over the past couple of weeks. I've learned that the bond they have formed with the Jackets organization goes much farther than wins/losses, trades/waives or rants/raves. You see none of that matters when you witness the pure joy on your daughter's face when she's around the "guys".

Like Ryan, Coryn is another example of the struggles kids around the world deal with everyday in their fight against this terrible disease. What always strikes me the most when I learn about kids like Ryan and Coryn are the determination they show in fighting back with everything they've got.

They don't complain.. They don't feel sorry for themselves. All they do is fight. We could all certainly learn alot from their situations to apply in our daily lives couldn't we?

For the Jackets to go above and beyond to put a smile on a young girl's face doesn't seem that big in the scheme of things... but believe me to Coryn and her parents Lee and Cathy it means the world.

Most of these stories we never get to hear about but these pro athletes are touching the lives of young people like Ryan and Coryn all the time behind the scenes. Really I couldn't be prouder to be a fan of the Jackets organization and their players when they take advantage of the tremendous opportunities they have at their disposal to put smiles on the faces of kids and their families who have unfairly been put in these situations.

It's what the power of pro sports can do when properly put to use.

Coryn you keep smilin and Jackets you keep giving her and kids just like her reasons too!

...oh and one more message I would like to pass along to Jackets GM Scott Howson -- you better make sure Jared Boll is in union blue next season! If he isn't then your gonna have a little girl to answer to and we've already seen what she can do to cancer!

For those that are interested in learning more about Coryn's story please visit her website and you can even sign her guestbook by following this link.

Thanks for sharing Coryn's story with me Cathy. She's a beautiful and courageous little girl!



Pub said...

Great stuff!!!

BZArcher said...

Thanks, LTL.

My mother and father are both cancer survivors. It breaks my heart every time someone is lost to it, and I get a lift every time I see someone who wins their fight.