On February 11, 2012 I will be celebrating my 4th year of remission by competing in “The Toughest Event on the Planet”, the Tough Mudder Race in Atlanta. http://www.toughmudder.com My initial motivation was to finish the race and prove my doctors and naysayers wrong. Recently I found a real inspiration, to benefit the Imerman Angels cause. Here’s why:
The year following the diagnosis and treatment of a carcinoid tumor in my lung, I naïvely thought I dodged the cancer bullet. An outrageous health insurance premium increase, several denied life insurance policies and an eye opening conversation with my doctor later, I was smacked with the reality that I was a “cancer survivor” (sorry you had to find out this way Mom).
Throughout the entire journey, I was extremely fortunate to have my wife, Amy, by my side. From the onset, she put Ivy League educated surgeons on the hot spot with threatening questions, she man handled our insurance company and tirelessly validated her commitment to stick with me through “sickness or health”. She was only able to dedicate this time because of the love and selfless support of our friends and family. My in-laws watched our girls for the two weeks I was in the hospital. Our dear friends dropped everything to console Amy while I was a less than pleasant, drug induced patient and husband. The inspiration I derived from the countless cards, flowers, and even some disturbingly funny gifts was what I needed to get thru the pain and make the drastic lifestyle changes that have helped me approach 4 years of remission.
I am grateful for all the support because without it I would have been absolutely petrified. Despite working in the oncology industry for a decade, I could not find any resource that connected me with a survivor of the same condition. I wanted to know if a cracking the chest plate or ribs was more painful? What were the chemo options? How did you prepare your spouse and kids for all possible outcomes? Are there any downstream problems to be aware of…like the insurance fall out! I was fine because I had people that cared about me and my family and that’s all that really matters.
There are millions of people that face cancer without emotional, psychological or spiritual support. A close friend recently introduced me to Imerman Angels. http://www.imermanangels.org The mission struck a very familiar chord and I am committed to help this wonderful organization ensure that no one ever faces cancer alone.
Imerman Angels is a federally registered 501(c)3, based in Chicago. It is largest global not-for-profit providing one-on-one cancer support: connecting cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers. The service Imerman Angels provides is absolutely free and connects anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world in order to build relationships to help fight cancer together. “Cancer survivors are Angels – walking, talking, living proof that the fighter can win too” (Jonny Imerman).
If giving to this wonderful organization is not motivation enough, maybe embarrassing me will help. If I reach the goal of $2000 in donations, I will run the race adorning a PINK LEOTARD and TUTU. Pictures will be posted on Facebook for your witty commentary.
EVERY donation makes a difference. All online donations are secure and sent directly to Imerman Angels by Firstgiving, who will email you a printable record of your donation. It takes a matter of minutes, is completely secure and you can even leave a message with your donation.
Another equally important opportunity for you to contribute is by sharing this link with the contacts in your network, as people are the foundation and driving force of our organization. The more funds we raise and the more people that know about our mission and service, the more people we can help and inspire.