Inspiration is all around.
Whether you are moved by courage in battle, comebacks from adversity, the finest musicians and poets and actors and ballplayers, or simply by the majesty of a sunset, inspiration is easy to find.
Sometimes our neighbors even remind us what’s important and inspire us to make a better world through our actions.
Thank you for that, Jack Sullivan.
Reporter Benna Sayyed re-introduced us to Jack, who turns 6 on Wednesday, with a feature story in Tuesday’s paper.
We first heard about Jack last spring when the Melrose football team thanked him for being a great fan and offered their encouragement.
Readers learned Tuesday that Jack raised about $700 last year for cancer research by painting fish, trees and whatever else interests him. His goal this year is to raise $3,000 for the Melrose Relay for Life, which is scheduled next weekend.
“The money is helping to get my cancer away from me,” Jack said.
For more than two years now, Jack has undergone treatment for ganglioneuroblastoma — a tumor in his nervous system. The condition is diagnosed in about five of 1 million children annually, according to The New York Times Health Guide.
Some of us retreat into our homes when faced with frightening challenges. Jack has become an active part of his community, earning an autographed football and status as an honorary Melrose Buffalo when he’s not busy painting for cancer research.
Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.”
That is certainly true when Jack’s around.
As we celebrate National Volunteer Month, and continue our constant search for inspiration, let’s also remember the words of Helen Keller:
“I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
If a 6-year-old cancer patient can contribute, we can all do something to make a better community around us.
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