by Steven Greenberg

Sunday August 24th was the Brain Tumor Society Los Angeles Walk. My mom and I woke up bright and early, which I wasn’t so excited about, and set out for a day in the burning sun. I didn’t know much about brain tumors and in my mind I was simply going to help her photograph an event. However, my opinions were drastically changed while I was there.

I realized that brain tumors can affect anyone. I met survivors and people who had lost loved ones of all ages. In one day, their world was changed forever. It’s something we don’t tend to think about until it begins to affect us. Brain tumors are indiscriminate and destructive. They impact everyone.

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Being an assistant photographer, I was running around taking photos of different groups of people and hearing their stories. There was a little boy who got on stage and announced to the crowd, “I am 6 years old and I am a survivor.” I was incredibly impressed by his courage and his positive outlook on life.

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I realized very quickly the level of camaraderie these people felt with each other and tried to understand what they had been through, but I have never been close to someone who has suffered with a brain tumor. I will never be able to truly understand what they have been through, but I was inspired by their fortitude. Everyone at that walk has been through a lot, but they were there supporting each other, raising awareness, and banding together to find a cure. The people I met had made a choice to do something about their experience. Rather than simply mourning, they have turned their loss into strength and now use that strength to help others. The Brain Tumor Walk wasn’t just a walk. It was a community of people who felt true empathy for each other and supported one another.

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What did I take away from this? Life can change in a matter of seconds. You never know how long someone might have in our life. But it’s because of this that we can enjoy everything that life has to offer. We laugh and get hurt but no matter what, we’re still alive. Don’t take that lightly. Realize how amazing you are and how much potential you have and then use it! Do something extraordinary and live simply. Adventure doesn’t have to be extravagant, it can start right now, right here. The choice is yours.

NBTS – National Brain Tumor Society

NBTS – Southern California

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