Satya – my then nearly 10-month-old daughter – was diagnosed with cancer after the anesthesiologist wheeled her woozy little body out from the MRI machine.

She laid there, wriggling in her plastic hospital crib, as the oncologist, surgeon and radiologist gathered around to tell us that our daughter had cancer.

Good news: highly treatable, early detection and needed surgery.

Bad news: Did I mention cancer? That she was 2-months shy of her first birthday? I steadied myself by gripping the crib, tried not to throw up and thought about how she might die. And that’s all I could think about.

Family, faith and french fries

Our parents and siblings rallied around us, friends lifted us up, our prayers protected her, and the carbs soaked up some of the tears. The trust we had in Satya’s exceptional medical team of doctors and nurses at Hackensack Hospital… We’ll forever be grateful to them for saving her life.

My message to you

You. Got. This.

It’s a shit fight, but you’ve got this. I hate to boil it down to winning and losing – that’s not what fighting cancer is about. No one who fights cancer loses, not ever. But you’re full of courage, strength, dignity and grace. Please, please, if you’re having a bad day, or a good one, but need some help, just ask. Your friends, families, co-workers and neighbors want to get involved, they want to support you, but sometimes they don’t know what to do or say.

Engage them. Use them. Make them a part of your story.

Offer your help

Be a partner for someone who’s fighting cancer or a caretaker of someone who’s battling. Small acts of kindness – a ride to chemo, a hot meal for the family or just a text message to say you’re with them goes a long way. Support a charity that helps families through tough times (TCFKID.org is a favorite). If money isn’t possible, raise awareness or help plan a fundraiser in your town. Cancer threatens everything, be a pillar for someone who needs a little support.

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