Well, I figure that most of y’all who are going to give before the event Saturday morning have already given.
And I thank you for your generosity. We’re now at $3,556, which is very good. Of course, I went wild a couple of days ago and raised the goal to $5,000, but as someone said on Twitter this morning, “If people aren’t laughing at your goals, your goals aren’t big enough.”
Before we give up on that, I’d like y’all to do one more thing for me — how about reaching out to some of your friends and family (as Doug and Bryan have already done so very successfully), and see if they’d like to give as well.
I did that night before last, and got a gratifying response. I even heard from our Tokyo correspondent, Hunter Brumfield, who contributed, and then wrote on our team page:
My wife Eiko also went through this so I know what you and Juanita have faced, Brad. We are in remission also, fortunately, after 5 years post-treatment. Early detection is SO important!
I’m so glad Eiko is doing well. Hunter, too, apparently. I also heard from Jeff Miller in Washington, who gave in memory of his mother-in-law, Stella Schwartz. And others. Very gratifying.
Anyway, what I did was send to Hunter and lots of other friends the following email. Feel free to borrow from it, and ask your friends and relatives to chip in to the bradwarthen.com team:
First, the bad news: As you can tell from that greeting, this is a form letter that I’m sending to lots of friends in addition to you.
Now, the good news: This is a form letter that I’m sending to lots of friends in addition to you. Which means I’m not just picking on you personally, and trying to put you on the spot.
I’ve organized a team through my blog to walk in Palmetto Health Foundation’s Walk for Life this coming Saturday. We’ve set (OK, I’ve set) an ambitious goal for the team. We’re trying to raise $5,000 to fight breast cancer. We’ve already raised $3,256. I’m asking you to help put us over the top.
All you have to do is go to this page, and click on the pink “Give Now” button over on the right-hand side, and follow the instructions. It’s easy, and relatively painless.
Some of my blog readers have had great success with personal campaigns among their contacts. Doug Ross has raised more than $1,100 for our team by offering to do such things as wear a funny hat. Bryan Caskey has raised more than $1,600 by sending a clever email to his friends.
I may resort to those tactics myself. But first, I thought I’d get serious and tell you why I support the Walk for Life, and look forward to it each year.
Twelve years ago, my wife, Juanita, was diagnosed with breast cancer. It had already spread to her liver when it was found. We found this out in a quick series of shocks: First the lump, then the exploratory surgery that found that the nodes were involved, then the biopsy that found multiple tumors in her liver. Stage four cancer. It is a brutal understatement to say that her survival chances weren’t good.
We lived the next few months in a fog of anxiety mixed with urgent determination to do whatever we could. There were the biopsies, and one bad report after another. Then a massive round of chemo. Then the surgery. Then a brief period of recovery, followed by another devastating round of chemo. Followed, after another brief time for recovery, by radiation. Then, the beginning a routine of milder chemo treatments every three weeks for the next eight years.
One night, early in the process, I was watching television, and for a moment, had stopped thinking about this horrible thing. My wife, who had been on the Internet where she spent so much of her time during that period, walked in and said she had good news — she had found a site that said she might live for five years if everything went right. That, she said, was easily the most optimistic assessment she had found. I was devastated. That might, in fact, have been my low point. I had not actually internalized, in a quantitative sense, how bad things were until that moment. And my shock was exacerbated by guilt, for having for a moment forgotten about this thing hanging over us. Watching stupid television.
We got through this time through the prayers and concern of many, through determination, through the skillful guidance of the folks at S.C. Oncology Associates, with the helping hands of friends (all sorts of folks brought us dinners during that period, including Samuel Tenenbaum, the head of the Palmetto Health Foundation, so I owe him).
Since that diagnosis, a lot has happened to us in our personal lives. Our children, three of whom still lived at home in 2001, have gone through all sorts of passages — graduations, and weddings for two of them. Most wonderfully, four more grandchildren have come into our lives.
Juanita was first told she was definitely in remission early in 2002. In 2010, our oncologist said he thought it safe to take her off chemo altogether.
For the past five years, she has spent most of her waking hours taking care of our youngest grandchildren. She is their Nonni, and it would be impossible to overestimate how much she means to them. She is an irreplaceable part of their world, as she is of mine, and our children’s.
We owe so much to all the dedicated people fighting cancer every day, in research labs and on the front lines with patients.
So help me pay a little of it back. Again, all you have to do is go to this page, and click on the pink “Give Now” button over on the right-hand side, and follow the instructions.
Thanks so much.