I attended a the 4th annual survivor's luncheon for Dr. Quinones today. It made me realize how fortunate I have been so far. You may read that and think that I have finally lost it. How does a guy who has had two brain tumors in three years say he is fortunate? I looked around the luncheon and realized that some faces from previous years weren't there this year, and its not because they were on vacation. Some individuals can barely work or have trouble speaking or seeing. Some people were wheel chair bound. One woman there had gone through some 30 different surgeries. I have graduated from law school and will run in my 3rd consecutive Baltimore running festival.
All of us at the luncheon have the pleasure of having the best surgeon in the world. But what I have is the best family and friends that anyone could ask for. Which is why I am not afraid to issue a challenge which I will explain later on.
While I have been fortunate, I will never be able to fully explain the sacrifices I have had to make in order to deal with these tumors. Among other things, I have had to give up graduating on time from law school, having the freedom to go where I want when I want, I have lost or failed to be able to earn an unimaginable amount of money through missed time or lost work opportunities, and finally I may end up losing my life. This is just the beginning of the list and I'm positive I'll have to give up more, but what I refuse to give up is hope. My hope is that we find a cure for this. Maybe it is a fool's hope but I wholeheartedly believe that there will be a cure for cancer in my lifetime; I have to. My hope is based on the research and the advancements I have seen happen in cancer treatment and the research I have witnessed in Dr. Q's lab. I watch these brilliant minds give up a plethora of opportunities to spend endless hours doing research in this lab.
Basically, I am asking that from now until race day you give something up or take a moment to put a small amount aside each day, or each week and then take that and donate it to the lab. So, the challenge that I am putting to anyone who is reading this is to give something up which you do daily or weekly. This could be getting coffee at Starbucks instead of making it, or packing a lunch instead of eating out, or taking a night off from going out. I honestly do not care how much the final amount ends up being. My surgeon says that he would rather get a million $1 donations then get a few large donations and I completely agree. I realize these are tough times for anyone and I don't want anyone putting themselves in financial trouble but setting a small amount aside each day, even if it is just the change from your pockets adds up. It could be the $5 you donate that puts the lab over the top to purchase equipment, or samples, or pay a lab assistant for their time. If this seems like a lot just think of the sacrifices I have had to make in my life at 27 yrs. old and weigh it against giving up $.50 a day or whatever you may decide to do.
I appreciate you sticking with me and all I can offer back is my friendship and my comitment to never quit trying to beat this