I have learned that the pain in the heart and soul is deep and will always be there. The ‘bucket’ has a hole, and even when you dedicate every day of your life to making sure other families don’t have to live with this pain, the bucket will never be filled.

I have also learned that regardless of who you are and where in the world you live, the fear and anxiety of the diagnosis is universal. So is the pain of losing your loved one. The pain is even more deeply excruciating when we are left with the belief that had we had the resources, had we lived elsewhere, our loved one would still be with us. It is unbearable.

I have learned that it is actually possible to prevent many cancer deaths today. When we work together with a single focus on alleviating suffering and preventing premature death from cancer for patients who need help today, we can indeed save families from this tragedy. Through the work of The Max Foundation over 26 years, I continue to experience every day the amazing power of all of you who decided to step up and make a difference. I can recount story after story of individuals from all walks of life who have made it possible for more than 100,000 families to have extra time with their loved ones. Even if the bucket of our soul will never be fixed, the legacy and memory of our loved ones live through these families.

On this day of remembrance for Max, I want to honor the lives of all those who are not with us today, and whose memory inspires us to step up and make a difference. I invite you to share in the comments who you lost and how they inspire you.

May their soul rest in peace and may we continue to find the strength every day to honor their memory with our efforts.

Pat Garcia-Gonzalez