Carrie’s sister is the lovely Laura Minikel, my gynecologist. I was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma just a short time after Laura and Carrie’s mom, Maria, had begun breast cancer treatment. Laura gave me a beautiful silver paddle, whose significance was at once obvious to me, and which I wore and continue to wear with meaning and purpose. My treatment, like Maria’s, has been a total success!
This symbolic and meaningful gesture was created by Carrie's friend, Julia, at a time of great need. An important symbol of friendship and connection was created by transforming the sad and scared energy of the moment. Something lasting and helpful came into being from something difficult and painful.
Recently I asked Laura to ask Carrie to please make me a paddle out of 14K gold. I have it beside me as I write this. It is just beautiful. Carrie and Julia are artists who chose to create and take positive action in the midst of turmoil and fright. Others, like Laura, have taken action by both wearing and circulating the paddles. When you wear your paddle and when you give a paddle, I'm hoping you're feeling kinship with others and the conscious knowledge that we are all connected and we help each other to heal. I believe with all my heart that the right attitude when faced with life’s biggest challenges can be transformative. Whether or not you wear a paddle as a reminder, I do hope that all who read this, and all who have difficult times, understand the importance of our human connection in the face of our human condition.
Survivor, diffuse large b-cell lymphoma