You Can't Keep Winning, Cancer

You Can't Keep Winning, Cancer

You are evil, but we can beat you.
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Dear cancer,

You have continuously destroyed families and friendships. You have devastated millions of people. You have won more battles than you should. You have lost some battles, however. You crush people's hearts, dreams, and hopes. You put people in way too much pain. You are one of the worst things in the world.

I wish more than anything that we can someday find a cure to get rid of you once and for all. You have arrived twice in my family, uninvited. Luckily, grandma is strong and tackled you before you could take her away from us. However, you decided to destroy a mother-dauther bond. I will never ever forgive you for that. Do you just randomly choose your next victim?

I am so sick of seeing articles in the news about this person being diagnosed with you, or that person passed away because of you. My heart breaks a little bit every time. You are not well-liked by anyone. You have no mercy. When will you raise your white flag and give up?

You have personally put me through the ringer. I have had to mourn the loss of my own mother due to you invading her body. You steal people away from their families and friends. You put people through so much pain, sometimes they give up and let you win yet again.

Biologically speaking, you are just a bunch of cells. You don't have any feelings or thoughts. You multiply rapidly and make people miserable. I hope someday you are diminished. I hope you will be something future generations read about in their textbooks as something that doesn't exist any longer.

You can't win anymore. We will defeat you until you can not take anyone's lives away from them. You will not be able to strip people of who they are. People will not have to mourn their losses of aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, siblings, etc. You will no longer be so ruthless.

Cancer, go away. Once and for all.

Cover Image Credit: Times of Isreal

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A Love Letter To The Girl Who Cares Too Much About Everyone But Herself

You, the girl with a heart full of love and no place big enough to store it all.

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Our generation is so caught up in this notion that it's "cool" not to care about anything or anyone. I know you've tried to do just that.

I'm sure there was a brief moment where you genuinely believed you were capable of not caring, especially since you convinced everyone around you that you didn't. But that just isn't true, is it? Don't be ashamed of this, don't let anyone ridicule you for having emotions.

After everything life has put you through, you have still remained soft.

This is what makes you, you. This is what makes you beautiful. You care so deeply and love so boldly and it is incredible, never let the world take this from you.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You are the girl who will give and give and give until you have absolutely nothing left. Some may see this as a weakness, an inconvenience, the perfect excuse to walk all over you. I know you try to make sense of it all, why someone you cared so much about would treat you the way they did.

You'll make excuses for them, rationalize it and turn it all around on yourself.

You'll tell yourself that maybe just maybe they will change even though you know deep down they won't. You gave them everything you had and it still feels as if they took it all and ran. When this happens, remind yourself that you are not a reflection of those who cannot love you. The way that people treat you does not define who you are. Tell yourself this every day, over and over until it sticks. Remind yourself that you are gold, darling, and sometimes they will prefer silver and that is OK.

I know you feel guilty when you have to say no to something, I know you feel like you are letting everyone you love down when you do. Listen to me, it is not your responsibility to tend to everyone else's feelings all the time. By all means, treat their feelings with care, but remember it is not the end of the world when you cannot help them right away.

Remember that it is OK to say no.

You don't have to take care of everyone else all the time. Sometimes it's OK to say no to lunch with your friends and just stay home in bed to watch Netflix when you need a minute for yourself. I know sometimes this is much easier said than done because you are worried about letting other people down, but please give it a try.

With all of this, please remember that you matter. Do not be afraid to take a step back and focus on yourself. You owe yourself the same kind of love and patience and kindness and everything that you have given everyone else. It is OK to think about and put yourself first. Do not feel guilty for taking care of yourself. You are so incredibly loved even when it doesn't feel like it, please always remember that. You cannot fill others up when your own cup is empty. Take care of yourself.

Cover Image Credit: Charcoal Alley

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Disabled People's Rights Were Set Aside At This Concert And We Need To Start Talking About It

"I was so scared of someone crashing into me, then sending me toppling or ripping my ankle open."

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Jasmine Wade struggles to get out of bed on most days, but she wasn't going to let lupus stop her from enjoying her first concert experience in New York.

Hundreds of fans queued outside of the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, New York on Sunday, Sept. 30 for K-Expo, a Korean pop culture convention featuring groups like ASTRO and The Rose. After standing in line for two hours, headaches and shortness of breath were getting the best of her. Wade couldn't wait to get into the theatre to rest her legs.

Hundreds of sweaty bodies pressed against each other in an attempt to get a glimpse of the celebrity-filled stage. Fans stuck their phones high above their heads to take photos, obstructing views of people behind them. Wade was eventually pushed to the back of the venue with nowhere to sit.

"I had to escape the chaos on the first floor," said Wade. "Once I was able to go upstairs, I got a chair and sat in the corner for the entire time Kim Myung-soo was performing."

A last-minute venue change from Pier 36 to the Melrose Ballroom may have led to the neglect of people with disabilities. But the staff and convention rules also did not help to alleviate the burdens of disabled people at this concert.

Even with an elevator at the venue, it was shut down to control the people entering the meet-and-greet. Wade had to trudge up three flights of stairs for the meeting. Wade's lupus, which comes with other ailments like fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and hypertension, makes it difficult to even stand or walk.

The venue change also left the convention with a smaller venue than originally advertised, confusing volunteer workers and void of food vendors. The venue announced around 12 PM that there would be no re-entry, leaving fans hungry and frustrated for hours to come.

Disabled and non-disabled people complained during the convention and after on the event's Facebook page, with many wanting refunds. Wade emailed K-Expo several times about getting a refund but no one has contacted her back yet.

Kiki Demola, another disabled attendee who had a severe ankle fracture and has trouble walking, also struggled with unhelpful staff. She said, "The security guard said, 'This is a kids' event,' when she asked why the venue didn't have handicap accessible seating."

After talking to the manager, Demola was offered a seat on the balcony with a view obstructed by lighting equipment and people pushed against each other.

When Demola had to go to her meet-and-greet, staff helped her walk up three flights of stairs. But the pain and frustration got to Demola's head and she started to cry as she walked up the stairs. She wiped away her tears before she met the Korean boyband ASTRO.

Dee Gee, who has a vision impairment, an ankle injury, and suffers from a bone condition and spinal problem felt her toes numbing while she stood in line before the concert. Her flimsy shoes and the shooting pains through her bandages made the wait unbearable. Standing on her toes without space to stretch or reposition made it worse.

With a convention lasting from 11 AM to 9 PM, Gee had to prepare herself to stand and keep herself safe from rowdy crowds. Gee said, "I was so scared of someone crashing into me, then sending me toppling or ripping my ankle open."

Gee spent most of the night with her arm bracing her lower back to protect herself from incoming elbows and camera lenses. She had to avoid slipping, tripping, or being pushed, which seems nearly impossible in a mob of screaming fans.

"For me, falling is not an issue of just getting back up," Gee said, "It could paralyze me."

She was disappointed with K-Expo's approach toward people with disabilities. Gee said, "This is a human rights issue, the way they treated us."

The American Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in areas like public and private places open to the general public. This civil rights law should make sure that people with disabilities have the same rights as non-disabled people.

But when disabled people buy expensive concert tickets to get close to the stage and then are told that accommodations can't be made for them, the enforcement of the ADA is questionable in halls like the Melrose Ballroom. Disabled people at this convention certainly did not have the same opportunities as non-disabled people.

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