Let me introduce you to my friend, Lanette.
But if you ask her, we’re not just friends, we’re “brain buddies.”
Lanette has been fighting brain cancer for over 20 years. She also battles effects from surgeries as well as all the regular life stuff like everybody else. But what’s different about her, is that every single thing that has ever knocked her down – has also been the thing that strengthened her faith and her fight. She’s really got this living on purpose thing down!
I look up to her in so many ways, but if I had to pick just one thing…
It would be her bravery. She not only fights her own battle, but she goes into battle with others too. She is in the trenches. The brain tumor support line at Barrow is her cell phone. She runs Gray Matters Foundation.
Lanette comforts the afraid and even advocates for them when needed. She walks the halls of the same hospital where she herself has stayed many times to gift new patients blankets, stuffed turtles and, even decorate their rooms.
She makes the seemingly impossible (living after brain cancer), actually possible because she leads by example. She is using the hardest part of her life as the means to bring joy to others in a way only she can. Because only she gets it. She’s been there. Her brain buddies trust her. They find hope in her.
And the best part?
Her story didn’t end with her own experience.
She didn’t let her trauma win. She claimed her power over the past and changed the ending of her story the moment she decided to think beyond herself.
She changed her ending from a negative and diminishing life experience, into a positive and hope inspiring one for others.
Changing YOUR OWN ending.
It’s easy to think that where we are now is where our story ends. That all the parts of our lives have unfolded into this moment and that’s where it all must stay. Because, that’s just how the cookie crumbled.
But if you’re reading this, you are still alive and that means you still get a say in what’s possible.
True, that “chapter” of your life may be over, but if it’s a difficult or “traumatic” one, you may want to keep that part of your story open on purpose.
Every single person has their own set of unique life experiences that give them unique perspectives worthy of sharing.
I believe we can give purpose to every pain if we are bold enough to use what we’ve learned for a greater good. To share our story with someone who needs it. To help that loved one. To reach out to that person you see struggling. To volunteer. To mentor. To simply be available.
Maybe it’s time to change your ending by changing someone else’s.