In the United States, Labor Day is a special day to honor the workers. Before the formation of labor unions in the early twentieth century, some employers took advantage of their blue-collar employees with long hours, no days off, poor working conditions and wages too meager to support a family.
Today, Labor Day is associated with a three-day holiday weekend and a multitude of “Labor Day” sales at the stores. While all of the celebrations were happening, I was caring for my mom, a cancer survivor. Her cancer is gone, but age and failing health require someone to attend to her basic needs. On the four-hour drive back to Wisconsin, I thought about a news story I watched about former President Jimmy Carter.
President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, continue to work with Habitat for Humanity helping to build homes for low-income families. This has been one of the ways the Carters have volunteered to help their fellow citizens. President Carter is in his nineties, and also a cancer survivor.
How is this connected to a blog about Labor Day?
Let me explain. Carter had melanoma which metastasized to his liver and brain. He underwent surgery and was treated with radiation and immunotherapy in 2015. He was cancer free after his therapy was completed in 2016. Amazing, isn’t it? I recently wrote a blog about immunotherapy and the research Cancer Research UK had done in the development of this treatment which uses the body’s immune system to fight specific cancer cells limiting the damage to healthy tissues. Immunotherapy was presented for the first time for treatment use in 2010, and there hadn’t been new treatments developed for melanoma since the 1970’s.
The Carters embody the two causes the One Million Project supports through the sale of our short story anthologies– cancer research and homelessness. It seemed fitting for another reason.
I was reminded of the scientists who devote their lives to finding cures for the many different types of cancer that millions of people worldwide will be diagnosed with this year. Did they sit at the barbeque pondering in their heads another aspect of the research they are involved in? Or did they spend the weekend working tirelessly on a new development?
I thought about the families who provide care for their loved ones, day and night. Their commitment is a labor of love to be sure. It is hard work caring for someone who is sick and in pain, and I wanted to recognize the sacrifice of the families and the countless healthcare workers and volunteers who work diligently to help those in need.
So, on this Labor Day, I wish to thank those who give of themselves–whether they are paid or volunteer or a loved one. You help to ease the pain, to give hope, to provide a meal for the hungry, a bed for the homeless, a listening ear, a hand to hold and a shoulder to cry upon. You make a difference.
OMP Admin Note: Kate McGinn is a writer and OMP Network member – one of a group of networkers who will be blogging on a regular basis on various causes and issues. Kate hopes to spread awareness of the issue of American Veterans returning home to less help than they deserve. EMMAUS is one of the two main charities we are supporting.
Kate McGinn’s fiction can be found on Amazon in the flash fiction series BITE SIZE STORIES (Volume Two) along with five other guest writers, and in the One Million Project Fiction Anthology. Her books EXODUS and WINTER’S ICY CARESS are available on Amazon.
Our short story anthologies written by over 100 writers have been recently published (links below) with all proceeds being donated to the charity organizations our group supports.
If you are a Kindle Unlimited member, you can read the complete anthology for FREE, and KU proceeds are donated along with the proceeds from the sale of our anthologies.
Our volunteer authors love to see reviews, and every review helps to make the One Million Project’s books more visible to Amazon customers, assisting us in our mission to raise One Million Pounds / Dollars for EMMAUS Homeless Programs and Cancer Research UK.