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My Friends

The Debt I Cannot Repay

In today’s society, it is considerably rare to have the same group of close friends now as you did when you were growing up. Perhaps one or two of those childhood friends continue to be close to you, but for the most part, those past friends have moved on and made new friends. There is nothing wrong with this concept – it is completely normal for people to split up and head towards communities that they can better relate to, whether it is due to their career, relationships, or simply a need to find friends that more appropriately suit their own interests.

However, what is not so common among these types of people who migrate towards different friends is that, most of the time, one is not forever indebted to their childhood companions. This is where my case differs. That is right, I will say it again in a more direct manner. I am forever indebted to my friends. They, quite literally, saved my life. I hope they get around to reading this blog post because this serves as my official thank you note.


How My Friends Saved My Life

The week that I spent in the hospital, my friends would come up to visit me as often as they could. My assumption is that most people in their early twenties would have no idea how to act upon reception of the news that one of their close friends had just been diagnosed with cancer. However, my friends took this assumption and acted on it in the exact opposite fashion.

Almost immediately, they initiated a fundraiser titled “Pray for Paul” and they held an event on my 24th birthday at the local ice hockey rink where I spent much of my younger years. I wish I could put into words the atmosphere that existed at this event. It seemed as if the entire community of Gloucester was in attendance, not to mention my friends from Bryant University and the current Bryant Hockey Team. Everyone seemed so happy and excited to help out a local resident trying to deal with his first of twelve rounds of chemotherapy. The money that was raised help to pay off some of my outrageous hospital bills, to keep my student loans under control, and to help me introduce myself to my current organic nutritional lifestyle.


“We” Beat Cancer

To this day, I still tell my friends that I did not beat cancer, but rather, WE beat cancer. I am not the only cancer survivor in my friend group because we are ALL cancer survivors. We beat this nonsensical disease together. The day that fundraiser occurred, I realized that my friends had just become my brothers and sisters. True family.

Thank you, my friends. Because of you, I get to look forward to moving on with my life. Because of you, I get to wake up every day in my own bed as opposed to a hospital bed. Because of you, I get to write this blog and try to inspire others to encompass the perspective that I currently hold.

If we ever do begin to separate into our own, respective lives, one thing will always be certain. You will be able to tell your new friends, your spouse, children, and grandchildren, that you saved someone’s life from cancer.
Stay Mindful.


  1. Kelly quince Kelly quince

    That was really beautiful Paul…… I have had the pleasure of being part of that amazing group of friends and I know they would do anything for each other. And always be there for one another in good times and bad,. Very loving group of friends brothers and sisters really love all of you like my own ❤️❤️❤️
    Your god mother ❤️❤️❤️

  2. Paul, that was great!! A tribute to you by all your friends and Gloucester family! Remember the words of Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life! A man is nothing or a failure who has friends!! With each visit to your home Paul you had a never give up look on your face and your family had the same!! We all knew you would beat this thing!!! Congrats on your engagement and your future!! Your the best kid!!!

  3. Aunty Aunty

    Once again, Paul, you nailed it! What a wonderful name your friends gave to their efforts to help you–Pray for Paul! The power of prayer and the power of friendship–an unbeatable combination. May it ever be so for you.

  4. Judy parisi Judy parisi

    I look forward to Every single blog because of your enormous strength & faith. of your amazing spirit. You give family and friends such a inspirational lift with every paragraph. You look forward to each day as a adventure with sincerity and love. God bless you & Leah – many happy years ahead.

  5. Marianne P Marianne P

    You know you are darn special to so many people Paul, and we are so very fortunate to know you and be part of your journey as friends. CONGRATS on your engagement. See you soon for lunch!

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