I had the chance to meet Andrea Battle Sims at Advocacy Day last year. She had been diagnosed and recovering from pancreatic cancer in 2015, but her cancer cell count was very high. She was a breast cancer survivor from 1994.
She was both an absolute delight and a trooper as we walked around Capitol Hill. She was such an accomplished and cool lady. Mom and I got her cell phone number and promised to stay in touch. I became friends with her on Facebook.
Both Andrea and I liked each others’ posts on Facebook, and did an okay job of keeping up, but I never got the chance to actually see her again.
In November, I reached out to her, to see if she wanted to get lunch after one of her chemo treatments over at Ahuja. We passed a few messages back and forth, but weren’t able to make it work.
Shortly after that, I (messily) left my job, spent time dealing with my own health and wellness issues, and focused getting my career restarted and my own life back on track.
Andrea and I never got to get together for lunch.
I know how gauche it is to make someone else’s tragedy about themselves, but I hope you’ll forgive me this one time. What I went through paled to what Andrea went through, and I should have done a better job trying to take her to lunch. I have major regrets about not following through. If the last 6 months were about me figuring out who I am, and who I want to be, then I must absolutely learn from this mistake, and try to never make it again.
I don’t know if any of Andrea’s family will be coming to Advocacy Day this year, but in addition to carrying both my uncle’s and my father’s pictures with me to The Capitol, I’ll be taking Andrea’s with me, too.
I reiterate my commitment to bring hope to a horrible situation: I promise that I will forever carry her memory and continue the work started when DadZ was diagnosed. I will work forever to make sure no other families will have to suffer the way ours have.
Tell the people in your life while they are here how much they mean to you. Be a good steward of your fellow man, and take care of them. Life is fragile and fleeting. Make the most of it.
In Loving Memory
Andrea Battle Sims