San Francisco, CA
The night of May 21, 2014, looked like any other that my roommate, Erin, and I would have in our San Francisco apartment. I was busy making the next day's lunch when Erin came home and joined me in the kitchen. We caught each other up on our days, cooked, laughed and planned our next fun adventure. I casually asked how her doctor appointment had gone that day. That’s when she told me that she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma. A day that looked so normal was anything but. Even though that was the hardest thing she would ever say on the worst day of her life, I could tell that she was more concerned with how her news would impact other people. Selfless and graceful in every way, that's Erin.
Throughout the months that followed, 28-year-old Erin took on cancer like she took on everything else in life. She never complained. She faced the difficult decisions head on and didn't look back. She would still come home, meet me in the kitchen, tell me about her day, cook, laugh, plan our next fun adventure. I was proud to know Erin before the diagnosis; I knew I had met a special person who cared so much for other people and showed her love effortlessly. After the diagnosis, I was prouder than ever. Erin continues to be a champion every day.
Last year, Erin, now cancer-free, made the big move across the Bay to Oakland. As she handed me her keys, on a beautiful day that looked like any other, a flood of memories came over us both. In this apartment, so many nights were spent sharing, cooking, laughing, planning. In this apartment, Erin and I didn't just become roommates but friends for life. In this apartment, Erin beat cancer. Every day spent with Erin may just look like any other day, but to me, I know it’s anything but.