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Remembering John McCain

We have all been incredibly saddened by the loss of Senator John McCain nearly a week ago after his fight with a glioblastoma. As he makes his final journey from Arizona to Washington, D.C. and then to Maryland, we remember this titan who embodied all that it is to be a fighter, an American and a hero in every sense of the word.

It’s hard to imagine a better contender against this terrible cancer than someone who has lived his life with such passion, not only for himself but for the countless others he fought for though 60 years of service, in the armed forces, in a POW camp, and in the United States Senate. 

Senator McCain saw the most inexplicable circumstances throughout his nearly 82 years.  He was a war hero who suffered brutal torture. He emerged not with bitterness but conviction that we could make a better world through public service. He spent three decades proving that, often crossing party lines or making political enemies to stand behind what he thought was right. Though he did not achieve all his ambitions, he was never defeated; he always returned to the dignity of his work. He was known for forming iron bonds of respect and friendship with his rivals.

One of those sometime-rivals, always-friends, former Vice President Joe Biden, reminds us how he faced his diagnosis with the tenacity that one would expect from John McCain. His tribute touches all of us who have lost someone, especially to brain cancer. 

“After times when life can be so cruel, pain so blinding. It’s hard to see anything. The disease that took John’s life took our friend Teddy’s [Kennedy] life. And a few years ago, it took my beautiful son Beau’s life. It’s brutal, it’s relentless…we have to remember how they lived, not how they died,” Biden said. 

We know many of you have experienced great loss and strife because of a personal battle with brain cancer.  We continue to be in awe by the thousands of stories we hear each and every day of how people have lived their life in incredible ways, just by facing each day with a smile, determination to fight and refusing to let this diagnosis change who they are as a person.  

While this disease can feel isolating, you are not alone. Today and every day, we keep the McCain family and all of those we remember in our hearts. 

The Head for the Cure Family