"After years of telling my story, and hearing the stories of so many others, I've come to realize how supported I was by my family...."
Summer of 1995 I had already told my immediate Family of my diagnosis. I was in the back seat of a car on my way to an annual get together at my cousin’s cottage.
This would be a new experience, arriving to face 25 or so people that knew. Not much was said. My four male cousins had the big smile, bigger handshake and not much more, maintaining tradition. My cousin Mim has been supportive of me as long as I can remember. She has been my defender and my hero. Anything good about me comes from her kindness that I experienced during our summers at the lake.
After lunch in front of a bunch of guests she exclaimed with such complete confidence “Murray, I know you’re going to beat this”. It was the first time I heard this phrase applied to my disease. I was very skeptical but I thought if anyone knows, she might. I think she had given some thought to what she might say that day. Mim intentionally tried to reduce the stigma by using that specific phrase. A phrase that could be encouraging about any grave diagnosis. This type of support, especially during that time changed my outlook and it changed my life.