Survivor Story

Ripple Effects

December 2007 was the rock thrown in the still lake. It was the beginning of the ripple effect.

For those who are linear thinkers, it might seem strange to say that December 2007 was a starting point in two lives. Especially these two lives. Two lives that had already given almost a century of service to thousands of people. For Kay Yow and Annette Lynch, December 2007 was not just a starting point, it was, in many ways, the starting point.

To say that Annette Lynch’s life has been purpose driven is to say the very least. Her path through life has been a series of professional positions, any one of which could be considered a calling, all of them centering around one word—giving. As a coach, giving to her players. As a director at the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA), giving to an entire profession. Giving through a storied career in Special Olympics that started with a successful job interview with Eunice Kennedy Shriver and is still going strong.

Purpose driven.

Yet even for the most ambitious of souls, coming face to face with the realities of a cancer diagnosis would heighten the senses and double down on the resolve to find purpose.

Purpose in life. Purpose in cancer. Purpose in living beyond cancer.

In December 2007, Coach Kay Yow finalized plans to officially launch the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Annette Lynch finished 33 rounds of radiation. It was a starting point for living beyond cancer. The point of purpose.

For Kay Yow, the Fund became her purpose, an avenue to give back. To give in favor of life extending research. To give to the underserved. To give future generations of women the chance to find their purpose. To give hope.

With Annette, late 2007 was the start of a conscious decision to live with purpose. Each day would be deliberate. Each encounter with a young professional or a Special Olympics athlete, the chance to mentor.  The chance to give.

Annette says, “We are measured by doing what we can with what we have, not what we don’t have.”

So true.

Cancer or no cancer, none of us know how many days we have left. The challenge is not in knowing the number of days we have left. The challenge is in taking each day and maximizing the number of giving opportunities. How much can we give? How much of an impact will we have?

Money raised for cancer. Athletes given the chance to excel. Lives bettered. Lives changed.

These are the ripple effects from survivors like Kaye and Annette, casting their stones into the still waters … the purpose of survival … and making a tremendous difference in the lives of others … of giving hope.


To donate to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, click here.

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