I read the story of a fellow Cancer Support Community member out of Denver, and I realized that, like my fellow Denver comrade, my Cancer Support Community story is likewise, “about the ‘Community’ part more than the ‘Cancer’ part.”
It all started a few years back when I was running for local office. I was introduced to a woman who would become to me the “city matriarch” earned by her inspired investment of talent and time toward others. Mrs. Jean McMillan is her name. And I smile instinctively as I type those letters….
Funny to think that a daughter of a village fisherman in Canada would flex her skeleton and extend her reach to touch so many lives. That is Jean.
As a child, Jean’s intellectual capacity was “noticed” by mere chance when the Canadian Minister of Education was visiting public schools of Canada’s small villages. Upon this recognition, Jean’s parents were “urged” to move their homestead and fishing livelihood from their quaint village to a city where Jean and her also gifted sister could receive a “proper” education. Long story shortened, Jean went on to receive bachelors and masters degrees in chemistry, move to the United States, marry a handsome lawyer, raised five children, become elected as MB City Clerk … and co-found the principal support system in the LA South Bay for cancer victims and their families: CSC-Redondo Beach! And she keeps going….!
When I met Jean, we sat down together and I asked her whether a personal or family experience with cancer compelled her to create CSC…. To my surprise and admiration, it was neither. Rather, Jean and her colleagues were witnessing a critical need in the wider community and, by golly then -they would address it.
I began to attend CSC gatherings, and began to discover the gift of empathy and love being administered at CSC … to hundreds of people in dire need – our friends, neighbors, and strangers all the same…. I saw the magic.
I love being part of a community whose heart extends to all. That is what the Cancer Support Community is to me. It is my privilege and honor to serve our community through CSC.
Please join us and be a part of CSC.
Board Member – CSC-Redondo Beach
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