By: Staff Reports | Gwinnett Citizen

Cheryl’s Adventure - Everyday heroes
By Cheryl Copeland

Look! Up in the sky!  It’s a bird – it’s a plane!  No!  It’s Superman!  You’ve just realized that evil forces were swooping in to attack and destroy everything within your reach!  Then, out of the blue, you see a man dressed in bright blue spandex and a red flying cape with a giant “S” on his chest flying in to save the day!  Yeah, right.

Cheryl CopelandDon’t get me wrong, I am a true fan of Superman!  I even commend him on his ability to help so many people by the end of each comic book story, television show, or movie.  But, when it comes down to reality and life’s struggles, I must confess that I haven't relied on a good looking man in tights to save the day - never have, never will.  Rather, I've learned that there are hundreds of extraordinary everyday heroes walking among us; those who are there for you when you're truly in trouble.

I'll bet that just about every one of us would love to get through life without cancer.  Naturally, I would've loved it too, but it was not in the cards I was dealt; I got to hear the words, "You have Breast Cancer."  Evil cells were on a mission to attack and destroy my body.  But have no fear!  Everyday Heroes soon appeared!  

Before the official diagnosis of cancer had even been issued, an army of heroes entered my life.  Throughout the initial process my entire school staff surrounded me with love, support, prayers, and positive energy.  They offered everything from sweet smiles, to warm hugs, to amazing words of encouragement.  They helped to create a solid foundation of support that even a cancer diagnosis could not shake.  In short, they stood together and built a safety net around me; they were ready to join me in the battle against cancer.  Although I am not yet walking in the school halls with them this year, I know that I am never walking alone!  

The next objective was to remove the cancer and assess the damage being done.  This would require surgery and a few ‘healing’ days – days unable to be my normal functioning “Mommy” self.  Without hesitation the entire Pinkston family welcomed our children into their home and provided for them for several days.  The Pinkston’s are more than amazing friends – they are a family of heroes! 

As the process of surgeries and treatments soon began I realized that there was not enough time to personally contact everyone with the most current information.  My family and I turned to social networks to help speed up the process of sharing information quickly.  Little did I know that there would be an astounding number of heroes hidden within the invisible cyber-walls of “Carepages” and “Facebook!”  Messages and prayers were delivered by friends and family from all over the world.  Each and every comment has inspired me to continue fighting harder and stronger.  It is unbelievable how a few simple words can truly enhance a person’s life and attitude! 

Survivor Heroes are the most interesting heroes of all!  This group of heroes is made up of unique strangers that have, at some point, fought the cancer battle!  I’ve randomly met survivors in a boutique, café, grocery store, church, and local event.  Survivors can spot a cancer patient from a mile away!  They are quick to introduce themselves and share stories of triumph.  They kindly empathize with the pains and struggles while graciously leaving you with tidbits of vital information – like how to successfully access your port without pain!  These heroes often come and go quickly, but their spirit remains deep within you!  

No matter what cards life deals your way or what evil appears to be lurking overhead – remember:  You no longer have to wait for a dazzling superhero in spandex to come and save the day!  Everyday Heroes are everywhere!  You may not recognize them at first, but when you need them the most, they will find you.  Forever they will be your heroes! 


Cheryl Copeland is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about life’s lessons and her personal adventure with breast cancer.