Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Let's Ace Cancer . . .

       Tennis is a love of mine. It's one of the many things I love in life. In fact, it's the only place on this earth that I leave this earth for a little while. It's my escape and a way to let out some ruthless aggression. We all have things in life that we enjoy doing and look forward to. Like Louie Armstrong said, 'What a Wonderful World'.

       However, people who have cancer, can have their worlds altered overnight, their hopes and dreams put on the back burner and they can be overcome with a paralyzing fear. All of the simple things in life that most of us take for granted, become a precious commodity to those that battle this dreaded disease. The fight is no longer about winning and losing on the court. It's is about life and death off of it.

       We all know someone who has their lives affected by cancer. For me, it is my best friend. In addition, she is a mother, daughter, aunt, sister, director, CPA, cheerleader coach and jack of all trades. A true superstar that MANY people count on. She was fortunate enough to knockout cancer a few years back.

       But over the summer a thought dawned on me. What if she did not win the battle? What would all of those people do without her, that count on her everyday? My life is GOOD, way too blessed to be stressed! I decided to dedicate the Philly fall singles, doubles and Tennis League Network Year End Tournament in Key Biscayne, Florida matches in her honor and for everyone battling cancer that would love to be on that court.

       About a week into the season, my friend called me and said that her aunt was now fighting breast cancer. This is a disease that can strike anyone of us at any given time without notice. It is a privilege each and every time I step onto the court. The pressure of converting a set point or getting a second serve in can seem trivial in the grand scheme of things. Each time I was faced with these clutch moments this fall season, I thought about my friend, her aunt and everyone battling cancer to keep my head in check and fight with the heart of a lion. Whether I play singles, or doubles with my partner Tony, it's an absolute joy playing tennis. I am truly blessed. Really... I am blessed.

       I am proud to write out a donation today to the Cancer Research Institute, the home charity of the Tennis League Network.
The Cancer Research Institute (CRI) is the world's only nonprofit organization dedicated exclusively to harnessing the immune system's power to conquer all cancers. The Tennis League Network with the help of founder and ambassador Steve Chagnon, have raised over $5,000 dollars for the Cancer Research Institute over the last 4 years.

       I ask my fellow Tennis League Network members, in over 37 cities, to do something good for someone else this holiday season. Maybe even joining me in making a donation to CRI. As Steve would say, 'It's the right thing to do'.

Have a great holiday and I will see everyone in 2014.

Jeffrey Barr
Tennis Philly