Why is it that some people leave behind not just a void, but a call?
A renowned doctor. A loving father. A talented college student. A teenager who, waiting for his treatments, noticed the distress of other youth.
Could they have envisioned what would spring up in their wake? Hard work, founding documents, offices, organizations? Thousands on the march, covering Paseo Colón in pink? Their names repeated again and again, by loved ones and strangers alike, the words gaining new meaning? Think of it: Anna Ross was once a proper noun. Now it’s practically a verb. Rise, unite, do.
Their deaths—too soon—asked questions. So do all deaths. The living are left wandering, wondering (why? when will mine come? what does it mean?). But some of us let those questions resolve into a statement, an ending. We put a period on it, or a wistful ellipsis…
Others make those questions their life’s work. They let them shape their days. They let the questions drive them: whether to build a foundation, or simply to listen better, to prioritize differently, to live more deeply.
Anna. Enrique. Giancarlo. Daniel. Four whose deaths asked questions. Three who left behind, in those who loved them, the drive to answer: the spark, the grit, the bravery that it takes not to close that question off. To keep on asking. To turn those names into action.
Text by Katherine Stanley Obando, inspired by those whose legacies inspire organizations related to the fight against cancer. In Costa Rica, these include Dr. Anna Gabriela Ross González, who inspired the Anna Ross Foundation; Enrique Chavarría Ramírez, who inspired the Association for the Prevention of and Fight Against Prostate Cancer (APRECAP); and Giancarlo Malavasi Lachner, who inspired the Fundación Giámala; and Daniel Arce Bobadilla, who inspired Proyecto Daniel. Our weekly Media Naranja column tells short love stories with a Costa Rican twist. During our October edition, “The Future of Cancer,” they are focused on stories related to those who face and treat this disease.