It's no secret, I love celebrations! Birthdays and other milestones in particular. I cherish my friends’ birthday celebrations as much as my own. They’re a great reason to reach out and connect, to pick out the perfect gift and card. To pick up the phone. To send a text. To have lunch. To simply, and importantly, connect.
Today is an especially important day for me. My oldest friend from childhood since I was 2, Scott, who for all intents and purposes is my brother, is celebrating his birthday today. It also happens to be National Cancer Survivors Day ... a day of HOPE, INSPIRATION, SUPPORT and CELEBRATION.
In early January, I received shocking news that Scott had stage IV colon cancer. His wife Heather called me the day before we officially announced Obliteride, the project I’m working on to raise money for cancer research at Fred Hutch, to tell me the “news.” I was stunned and shocked. I still kind of am. Scott is 42 with two awesome young boys (Chance and Zane, above), an amazing wife and a great life in Hood River, OR. How could this happen to him?
The timing of it all is ironic, coincidental, meant to be. I didn't realize it when I signed on to be the PR consultant for Obliteride last fall that I was truly meant to work on this amazing project. Obliterating cancer is extremely personal for me now. It feels like my life's work and it feeds my soul. I’m passionate about telling everyone I can about the insanely-amazing research that Fred Hutch is doing to save lives.
The last five months have been an intense rollercoaster for Scott and those of us who are close to him. Emotions run high when we get good news and low when we get not so great news. But Scott is riding the cancer waves (he’s a surfer!) with strength and determination just like he skies, surfs and lives his life. In fact, he was surfing on the Oregon Coast this weekend (picture above) and windsurfing on the Columbia River a couple of weeks ago. He was skiing on Mt. Hood recently too. Pretty amazing considering the extremely intensive chemo treatments he's enduring.
I consider Scott a SURVIVOR even though he’s not out of the woods yet. We are still praying for a miracle and believing that God and modern medicine will save his life. He is fighting hard and getting the best treatment possible. He also feels like what saves his life could be the next research breakthrough that’s right around the corner.
So in honor of Scott and everyone else I know who has been touched by cancer, I am taking this opportunity to invite you to join me in the ride to OBLITERATE CANCER so we can stop hearing the shocking news that our best friend, our spouse, our parent, our child has cancer.
Please join me.
I am raising money for Obliteride as a “virtual rider” since I will be working the weekend of the event. I'm kick-starting my own fundraising today with a $42 donation in honor of Scott's birthday and his journey so far. Please consider joining me and donating online through my personal fundraising page.
Here are a few ways you can think about how much you want to give:
· Donate $20 in honor of each person you know who is fighting cancer, is a cancer survivor or who has lost their battle with cancer.
· Give up one latte or beer per week until Obliteride in August and divert the money to cancer research.
· Donate in honor of your birthday or your spouse’s birthday – or both. The number of years = your donation.
Everyone who donates $50 or more will get a cool orange Obliteride bracelet (pictured above). Start an Obliteride arm party today! They are all the rage!
Whatever you decide to give is perfect. 100% of every dollar you donate goes directly to the insanely-amazing research that is happening at Fred Hutch every day. That means the more money we raise, the more lives are saved and the more birthdays we get to celebrate! Of course, you can also join the Obliteride movement by riding or volunteering! Much more info here.
Happy Birthday Scott! Cheers to good friends, celebrations and a cancer-free world.