Remembering Karen

Yesterday when my sister dropped by, I was fighting to hold back tears. She asked why I was crying, as I turned away from the online video I had been watching. I had just visited the Remembering Karen Martinez page dedicated to her memory by her FOX29 San Antonio family. I didn’t know Karen. I only knew of her inspiring story and the awesome things she was doing in the cancer community.

Remembering Karen Martinez

Sister, this is why I cried:

Breast cancer is a devastating disease. Breast cancer takes too many women (39,620 a year too many) from their families far too early. It often leaves young children without a mother, husbands without a wife, families and friends without a sister.

When I hear Karen’s story, it hits especially close to my heart. She was 37 years old. She had young children. She was a young Latina with a budding journalism career. Karen’s story could have very well been mine. It could very well be anyone’s. Because breast cancer has no boundaries, nor does it discriminate.

Today, as I complained to Facebook about the nuisances of putting the pieces back together after breast cancer, I thought of how Karen’s family will put the pieces of their lives back together without her. And that was enough to make me cherish and be grateful for this moment. And despite the heavy heart I have, it was enough to help me remember what cancer cannot do.

Please keep Karen’s family in thoughts and prayers.

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