It’s a welcome new year! Clarity continues to return in waves and I’m thrilled! The rawness is subsiding and the numbness is diminishing; however, the heartache has not. But that’s ok.
I was caught off guard a couple of weeks ago when a colleague expressed genuine surprise of the statistics for the young adult cancer mortality rates. In a nutshell, they haven’t improved in nearly 40 years! I have obviously slacked in my responsibility to get the word out. If interested, here are a few links to validate this statement:
Nick’s particular type of cancer, alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, is a rare childhood cancer and he was considered “relatively old” to have this diagnosis at age eighteen. This put us in an interesting situation with wanting to help both the childhood and young-adult cancer communities. We ultimately decided to focus 50/50 on childhood cancer research (i.e., CureSearch) and young-adult cancer survivor camps (i.e., First Descents).
Last year, we were deeply involved with First Descents and every single moment spent with their program was incredibly healing. In the spirit of the new year, I am inspired to share the work of three of our FD Camp “Kids” we immediately grew to love. They all write in their own unique style and their stories are beautiful and heartfelt. I think you will love them, too. They are:
Kelly Pozzoli (aka Sunny) – One Big Exhale
Rachel Yingling (aka Yings) – Colonology
Benjamin Rubenstein (aka Hippy) – Cancerslayerblog
Simultaneously, I am reminded to include information about childhood cancer research. There is a new Youtube video recently released about childhood cancer. It is called, “The Truth 365“. If you want to get a realistic (though minuscule) insight into the world of childhood cancer, please watch this video. It is 51 minutes long and is not for the faint at heart. It took me four separate visits to watch the video in it’s entirety, as it was just too intense. But as my title invites, “I DOUBLE DOG DARE YOU” to watch this video. It is well done and very informative with a specific call to action. I’m not saying this is your call to action, but it is mine and mine to share.
I suppose I’m a little sensitive these past few weeks as a sweet, beautiful young boy named Vinny DiGerolamo has touched my heart deeply. To read about his story, please visit his Caringbridge site. His mom, Sarah, has been corresponding with me over the past four years as our respective sons have battled the same type of cancer. She has been continually supportive and loving throughout our family’s journey. In addition, the work their foundation has done is heroic, touching countless children and their families – all while cheering on Vinny. If you do nothing else this entire year, please, please, please say a prayer for Vinny and his family today!
In closing, we are packing up for the big WACKY GOOFY! Friday morning, Kelsey and I will run, make that participate, in the 5k. Lee, Paul & Dave will run the half marathon on Saturday morning and run again for the full marathon on Sunday morning. And when I say morning, keep in mind their races starts at 5:30 a.m., meaning they have to be in their corrals at 5:00 a.m., catching the bus at 4:00 a.m., getting up at 3:00 a.m., which is really 1:00 a.m. Salt Lake City time. Really, all this for a Goofy medal? Nope! It’s for WACKY and all it represents – Be grateful, give back and have fun!
Ok, let’s go!