Hi, I'm Sam Morton. I'm a 24-year-old student at Minnesota State University. I am just beginning my final season of collegiate hockey while working on a master's degree in industrial/organizational psychology. I have an older brother, Tim (26), and an older sister, Erica (28), who both live in Colorado not far from my parents, Matt and Karen. I have lived in California, Colorado, Washington, New York, and Minnesota. Yet, thanks to the journey of the last three years, and more significantly, the connections formed, Mankato has evolved into the place for which I am most deeply appreciative.
Almost exactly a year ago, my dad was diagnosed with colon cancer. About a month later, one of my best friends called me to tell me he was just diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. This was the first time cancer touched me on such a personal level. As painful as the news was, it sparked a near-immediate increase in appreciation for the people I hold closest to me. The ambiguity of a disease like cancer is perspective-changing, to say the least. While I experienced this secondhand, I like to think it has taught me a few lessons about life. Life is too short not to enjoy every second and relationships are priceless. With emotional lows come emotional highs, enjoying and appreciating what experiences and people that are a part of my life is all I can ask for. About a month ago, my dad and my friend, Blake, announced they were cancer-free!
Why the JZ Cancer Fund is Important to Me
JZ Cancer Fund is an unbelievable way to support people going through the experience that I witnessed my dad and Blake both take head-on. Whether it be a small or large gesture, I hope patients understand that their support system is larger than they know. JZ Cancer Fund provides a way for our community to directly support a cause that deserves all the time and energy in the world.