The Indomitable Spirit of Ted Kennedy Jr. Wows Cancer Survivors & Caregivers

More than 300 cancer survivors, caregivers and friends crowded a Houston dining room November 14 for CancerForward’s We Can Go Forward Luncheon 2013, to hear Ted Kennedy Jr., cancer survivor and cancer caregiver to his late father, Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Sr. and late sister, Kara. The disability rights advocate held the crowd in rapt attention as he recounted his own battle with bone cancer at age 12, and the isolation and fear he encountered at the time. “No one talked about cancer 40 years ago; it was a secret disease, and I felt very alone. Growing up in a loving, but Irish Catholic family, you never discussed your feelings, and men certainly never cried.” He cited the power of sharing stories during difficult times, praising the mission of CancerForward.

Harry Mach, Cora Sue Mach and Ted Kennedy Jr. at CancerForward’s We Can Go Forward Luncheon 2013 honoring The Cora Sue and Harry Mach Family.

“I”m not a very religious man, but you feel the spiritual energy in this room when we all come together to share what we’ve been through.” Although the affable Kennedy is not an announced politician, he took time to personally speak to as many guests as he could. Receiving The H. Rudy Teichman Anchor of Strength Award in tribute for compassionate caregiving were Harry and Cora Sue Mach, herself a two-time cancer survivor, and their sons and daughters-in-law, Steve and Joella Mach, and Butch and Carmen Mach.Designed to punctuate the caregiving theme, the high energy event was orchestrated by chairs Tena and Tyson Faust, Rosemarie and Matt Johnson and Lindsey Love, all past caregivers themselves. Guests included CancerForward board member Bill Hamilton, who made possible Kennedy’s visit to Houston, honorary chairs Arvia and Jason Few, Brenda Love and Ed Jones and Jane and Ed Parker, Kennedy’s aunt, Candace Bennett McMurrey, her husband, Bob, and their son, Mark McMurrey of Dallas and Fredericksburg.

Spending time with Ted were CancerForward founder Beth Sanders Moore, former Texas Governor Mark White – a kidney cancer survivor — former US Congressman Chris Bell and wife, Alison Ayers Bell, Houston City Council Member Ellen Cohen – a 44 year cancer survivor — Lynn Wyatt, Ginni Mithoff, Kate Allen Stukenberg, Melissa and Michael Mithoff, Kate Hobby Gibson, Kennedy’s college chum, Ann Wolf, Millette and Haag Sherman, Alicia Smith, Tama Lundquist, Stephanie Cockrell, Estela Cockrell, Donna Teichman, Sidney and Don Faust, Joe and Cathy Cleary, Pat Breen, Diane Lokey Farb, Susan Plank, Phoebe Tudor, Diane Riley, Judi McGee, Susie Criner, longstanding CancerForward supporters Vivian Wise, Rose Cullen and Denise Monteleone, and Team CancerForward volunteers, Jaci Kettler and Shawntell McWilliams, both diagnosed survivors.

Category: Cancer

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