I was 13 years old when I found out that my dad was sick. Every day it was constantly going to doctor's appointments, getting him what he needed, etc. At first, I didn't think it would be so bad because he was so strong and told my sister and I that he was going to be okay. As months went by, he started to get worse. He went to the hospital more and was in home hospice for a good week and a half. There was never a time I couldn't stop crying in my room. I don't know what it was, I guess I was afraid to see him so sick. He died on February 17, 2014, from Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer.
My whole freshman year of high school I thought I couldn't go on because I was absent from school so many times and couldn't concentrate on anything else because of my father's death. But there was one phrase I remember that my dad told me when he was in the hospital; we were alone in his hospital room and I had an audition that I didn't want to go to, but he turns around and says to me, "Don't worry about me, just make me proud." Those words inspired me to be as strong as I can be and honor his name somehow.
About a year later, Relay For Life through the American Cancer Society came into my family's lives. I came up with our team #WearPurpleForJoeyD and started to make fundraisers. We got a ton of friends to help us out by organizing this one special fundraiser; it's a concert that includes anyone we know that wants to perform. This concert fundraiser has been the biggest one created because we had kids and teens come far and wide to perform whatever they wanted (singing, dancing, juggling, etc.). Because of the huge success, we have made this concert an annual one for over four years now. Relay For Life would come around the corner after that and our team tried everything they could to raise as much money as possible while having a good time at this fun and beautiful event. In a total of all four years we have been doing this, our team has raised over $80,000 to American Cancer Society!!!
Many of my other family members have died from different types of cancer before and after my dad. Some close friends and family members are still battling this horrid disease today. Now I use Relay For Life to honor their names as much as I honor my dad's. I will use every fiber in my being for the rest of my life to make sure that this disease will be beaten and that everyone who is fighting or lost that fight will be remembered forever!
My Strong Father
Joseph DeMott was a loving and caring husband and father to his family. Before he got sick, he was the one in the family that was full of adrenaline and a ton of energy. The great memories of and with him are always missed by many.
The Many Supportive People That Make the Effort
The many people that perform at this concert every year are such a blessing to us all. It shows that our team and the people outside our team are so loving and supporting to us and this cause of course.