My father has stage 4 colon cancer and peritoneal carcinoma. For a while, we were beginning to lose hope, I was losing hope that he would survive another year. People with colon cancer are expected to live between 6 months to a year, so the odds were against us. I was beginning to doubt the chemo, I was beginning to doubt my dreams of him being there. My hopes and dreams of my dad walking me down the isle and holding my first child were fading.
I thought I was going to lose the only man I would ever love the most.
One day, I researched my favorite actor, Benedict Cumberbatch, a bit and saw a 2010 clip of him speaking out and showing support for Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres. At the time, when things were so hopeless and bleak, it was so coincidental to see that. To see that he took the time out of his busy hectic schedule to bring awareness towards cancer and the people who live with it brought me to tears. It was almost as if he were speaking directly to me saying, “I’m here to support you, it will be okay. Keep fighting Shelly, because I am fighting too”
A few months later, Benedict’s birthday rolls around the corner. I was in the middle of creating a collage of his works, when I stumble across a tumblr post linking to a charity cause. Benedict designated a charity for Myeloma, a rare form of cancer that affects the plasma in the bone marrow. Once again, I was awestruck. I went to the page and what happened next I did not expect.
His goal was met weeks before his birthday. More than 100% percent of his goal was met. The charity reached more than 10 million dollars. I can’t remember the exact number it met, all I remember was jumping out of my chair, cheering with tears rolling down my face, and then running to my dad telling him about this amazing cause.
Because of Benedict Cumberbatch, I continue to become energized and inspired to support and fight for my dad’s survival. Whether he knows it or not, Benedict’s cause touches lives and gives us hope that there will be a better and brighter future for people who don’t expect a future.
I didn’t mean for this to be a sob story, nor to bring attention to myself. I wanted to share with you all as to why Benedict Cumberbatch is my favorite actor and why I am a fan. Not just because of his acting talent, not because of his looks, but because of his work as a human being and the difference he has made.
Benedict Cumberbatch, thank you for opening the world’s eyes to cancer and the people who live with it. Thank you for making a bleak future a little bit brighter. Thank you for bringing life into our heavy eyes and tired bones and lifting up our heavy hearts. On behalf of people who suffer from cancer and the people who live with it, thank you.
One day, I hope to meet you and thank you in person, and have you sign a picture of my dad.