The Spirit of Humanity

The Spirit of Humanity

Heather Marie Hylton, PA-C

Apr 20, 2013
T.S. Eliot once penned April is the cruelest month.  

I became conditioned to believe this after bearing witness to the tragic events in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, as a student at the University of Oklahoma.  It was the first such tragedy I had been so close to, and sadly, not the last.

I cannot say that the shroud of darkness that hangs over the month of April has improved much in the past couple of decades, and the grievous events that have occurred in Boston the past week only add to this heartbreak.  The Boston Marathon is a wonderful tradition and for many, it is an opportunity to raise funds for various causes, many of which benefit patients with cancer.  While there are numerous questions surrounding such tragedies as that which occurred this week in Boston, it is important to turn our attention to the element of hope that serves as a beacon to emerge from such darkness.

I believe that this hope is found in the spirit of humanity.

Whether it is a natural disaster like Hurricane Sandy or tragic events such as those that occurred in Boston this week, it is the spirit of humanity that ultimately shines through brilliantly and perseveres.  It is that spirit that draws people to the center of the problem to do whatever it takes to help others, never missing an opportunity to provide shelter from the storm.  

It is this same spirit of humanity I see time and again in the care that is provided to patients who are immersed in a journey with cancer.  As clinicians, we help shape our patients’ journey, in part, by how we provide care.  It is our calling to plunge into the center of the problem and do whatever it takes to help our patients, and this we do with great resolve.  And just as the human spirit has repeatedly shone through natural disasters and tragic events, so it will continue to do so in the difficult journeys to eradicate cancer that occur every day.

We strive to make each day better for our patients than the day before, and it is the human spirit that provides the hope to forge ahead and believe that tomorrow can be a better day.  


The ideas and opinions expressed on the ASCO Connection Blogs do not necessarily reflect those of ASCO. None of the information posted on is intended as medical, legal, or business advice, or advice about reimbursement for health care services. The mention of any product, service, company, therapy or physician practice on does not constitute an endorsement of any kind by ASCO. ASCO assumes no responsibility for any injury or damage to persons or property arising out of or related to any use of the material contained in, posted on, or linked to this site, or any errors or omissions.

Back to Top