My Dad lost his battle against lung cancer in January. I was there every step of the way and that is why I am going to support Relay for Life this weekend at SUNY Broome.

Most of us know someone who has had cancer. If not, at some point you will. It is predicted to pass heart disease as the over all number one killer within 15 years. Scary, huh?

Lung cancer is one of the most difficult to beat. The recurrence rate is about 67 percent. And once it comes back, it's an uphill battle. That's what happened to Dad. He was too weak to fight again.

My Dad taught me to fish, to love music, and to laugh. He also taught me how to manage my finances, which was no small task. He went to Disney World almost every year with me and even joined me on the "kiddie rides." Cancer took away my best friend and hero too soon. I called him every day. Sometimes I would call a few times a day, if I heard a news story or something that would interest him. We'd talk about how the Phillies or Eagles were doing and "buck" each other up!

Then, when he got pretty sick, he couldn't talk much, so the phone calls dropped to once a week. Now, there are none and never will be again. Some days, I pick up my cell and have to stop before I press his speed dial number.

No matter how old I was, I was his little girl and now my Daddy has been taken from me by this horrible monster.

Lee Ann Taylor
Lee Ann Taylor

No one, age be damned, should lose their parent to cancer. And no one should go through the hell cancer patients do.

Think about this, especially if you smoke. You KNOW you are going to die when the doctors says "you only have 6 months."  My Dad had to live with the knowledge, every single day, that he could be taking his last breath at any time.

Try and live, as a family member, with that knowledge. It still haunts me every day. So I have to stop cancer.

I had to watch my Dad deteriorate and give up preaching, which he loved. Then when he was given the all clear and went back to the pulpit, I had to watch him learn in short order that, no he couldn't preach anymore because the cancer came back to another area.

And trust me, caring for him near the end was so hard. And then the inevitable...

Relay for Life has an important mission; it celebrates those that conquered the disease, remembers those that lost and raises money to fight like hell for an end to cancer.

Join me on Friday in the fight.  Click here for more info.

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