About 20 years ago, I heard my first cancer story. My dad's cancer story. I was six years old and can now barely remember. I have snapshots of family members visiting our house - my dad chose to get treatment at home - memories of him laying in bed, too tired to play and one last family adventure to Disneyland I'll always hold on to.
When I was nine years old, my grammie told me dad went to heaven.
I didn't understand what cancer was but I was able to see what cancer can do. Cancer took away my dad, my bike riding buddy, my basketball pro and my goofball dancing partner. It also took part of my childhood.
Being that young, you don't know what having cancer means. You don't understand what hospital visits are and you don't know what could happen. But who really does when it comes to cancer? And that's our problem.
No one knows what's happening or when our cure will come. But World Cancer Day is our day to raise awareness and funds to find those cures. To give kids a chance to have their dad or mum by their side throughout their life. And for kids with cancer see fewer hospital rooms and more playgrounds.
My dad's cancer story will always be with me and it's his story that gave me the drive and passion to do something about this disease. To find a job I love so much, it never feels like I'm working a day in my life. I found that job two years ago at a foundation that's on a mission to conquer childhood cancers.
I know he would be proud and say "that's my Ali-Baba!" Because if I can't have him in my life, I want to have a purpose in life that reminds me of him everyday.
That is my cancer story.