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Your excuses are dust compared with Yvonne's example

July 9, 2013 - Paul Giannamore
During the past three sessions in this space, you’ve read a particular passion of mine about doing my darndest to try to stay fit as those “golden years” commit their advance. I don’t rail against ObamaCare. I expect it will suck, so I want to use it as little as possible.

I boiled over the day the AMA decided in June to declare obesity a “disease,” looking upon it as another crutch, another excuse for Americans to feel better about not trying. That they will continue to look for a magic pill with the blessings, and billings, of their doctors is as much a political statement as it is a health statement.

And the reason for that passion is personal. If you’ve read any of the past couple days sessions of PabloG, you know I’ve fought a little battle with my health that finally got me off my fat butt. I just think everyone should try. That’s all. Just try.

Some folks overcome anything and everything just to stay in shape because it’s the right thing to do for themselves and others. Local firefighter/paramedic Yvonne Fair is in the midst of a battle with cancer that she will tell you point blank that ultimately she will lose. She tells you that with a great attitude and a room-filling smile and reminds you that life has to be lived. She has gone through brain and other surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy and still, I saw her show up in the gym. I’ve seen this young woman tired, worn from the treatments and in a condition that anyone would say, “Yvonne, just go relax today. It’s just one day and you’ve earned it.”

She works with two fire departments. She has countless friends. She did not recoil from life but lives it with a fervor many of us “healthy” folks don’t come near.

I had the pleasure of interviewing her about a year ago for the Fitness Rebellion website and she said something indicating that working out was about more than just herself and fighting cancer and staying healthy: “You have to be in shape. If something happens, we (emergency personnel) can become a victim too,” Fair said. “It’s not just to stay in shape to fight a fire and save someone else. If you’re not in shape, you can become a victim and your co-workers have to drag you out.”

Her can-do attitude is absolutely infectious. After writing this, I know I will go into the gym and work out really, really heavy thinking Yvonne, who was waiting news today about the next steps in her cancer fight.

And, we can all do something to help her. Nearly three years of cancer treatment is not cheap.

The Brilliant Fire Department is holding a fundraising benefit including a chicken dinner, a night at the races, an auction and more, on Aug. 3. Dinner runs from 3 to 7 p.m. with the night at the races to follow. For information, to supply items for the auction or volunteer, call (740) 598-8234.

Monetary donations can be sent to the Huntington Bank, in care of Yvonne Fair, 325 Hollywood Blvd., Steubenville, OH 43952.

If you wonder why I say everyone can and should try, listen to Yvonne. Keep in mind she is in the prime of her young life, fighting with every fiber of her being against a cancer she knows will win eventually.

“When I haul someone out of a house and they weigh 500 pounds, they are frustrated with themselves. It’s nobody else’s fault,” she said. “When you are overweight and frustrated with yourself, get up and do something about it. I am sure everybody has bad days, but somebody always has a worse day than I have.”

“Somebody is homeless. Somebody is paralyzed. Cancer doesn’t seem so bad then.”

Still want to give in to your inner excuses?


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