Susanne Jacoby Hale: Why I joined the Pap Corps

June 5, 2014

Why I joined Pap Corps

Susanne Jacoby Hale


Everyone comes to PAP Corps for a different reason. Some of us join for the social events, some because they believe that we will see a cure for cancer in our lifetime and others, who figure if they are going to give their precious time to a good cause, cancer research is positively worthy. Each and any reason is worthwhile, because while working together, it is true, we may actually see an end to this horrible disease that has taken too many of our loved ones already.


I admit that I came by way of PAP Corps with resistance. I wanted to give of my time, and doing it with such a lovely group of people made it unquestionably more appealing. What I did not want to do was think about, face up to or deal with the disease that I spent a good part of my life tiptoeing around. It isn’t as though I am unfamiliar with cancer. Sadly, I lost my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother to cancer all before they got to be as old as I am today. I have spent my adult life with a constant, but quiet fear that I too may not be around to finish raising my children or ever see my own grandchildren.  Then, I realized, that each cancer-free birthday that by-passed my ancestors was a celebration not only for me, but for the great strides medicine has made to make it possible to anticipate disease (yes, I have had BRACA testing), eradicate many different strands of cancer and even prolong the lives of survivors. All this is due to research that may not have been around to save my mother, but has given my dear friend, a breast cancer survivor, a new lease on life that has allowed her to deliver her daughter to college last week – something her own mother never got to do as she was dying of Leukemia.


I, like any other happy person, would prefer not to think about cancer. Heck, some people even call it the C word. It still looms indubitably in my life, but it has made its presence known in all our lives one way or another by this point. So, I figure, what better way to bring this menace to its knees than to do it amongst friends? Joining PAP Corps, for me, is my own personal march to fight back for my mother, my grandmother, my great-grandmother and, at this point mostly importantly, for my children’s future.


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