“We’re dealing with cancer better but there’s still a lot of suffering. In another five years there might be a different treatment to address this awful disease.”
A parent is everything to their children, and for people like Brad McMurray, who lost his father to cancer when he was just 9 years old, the pain of loss is compounded by a longing for the relationship they might have had.
Whether to learn from his experience or to explore their shared passion for aviation, today, many decades later, Brad still grieves the loss of a man he had only begun to know and the time they could have had together.
Even before his father’s illness, Brad and his family lived a difficult life. His mother and sister both struggled with medical ailments, while his father did his best to keep their fragile family together. So when his father was diagnosed with cancer, everything became so much worse.
At the time, Brad did not understand cancer, what it meant, and why his father was sick every night. Like most children, he thought his dad would be around forever.
After his father passed away, life became even more difficult. Thankfully, Brad’s many cousins, aunts, and uncles (whom Brad affectionately refers to as his “fill-in fathers and mothers”) came together to help them pull through. Yet, nothing can replace the loss of a parent; and although he and his extended family share a deep bond, Brad and his father shared a closeness that he never found again, with any family member.
Although advances in cancer treatment came too late to save his own father, Brad wants to do what he can to help prevent that same heartache and loss for others.
It’s why he supports the Cancer Research Society.
“Cancer is now a disease that can be fought against and beaten,” Brad says. “Research is extending quality of life and years for people. I don’t know if we’ll ever find a cure but I think we’re coming closer to managing it. We’re dealing with cancer better but there’s still a lot of suffering. In another five years there might be improved treatments to address this awful disease.”