Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Happy Birthday, my friend.

Today was the 38th birthday of my friend, Mike. No, seriously, don't stop reading this blog me, he's awesome. I deeply wish that everyone had a friend just like him. Which, I admit, would probably be impossible because Mike is one of those special rock stars in life.

Today was not only Mike's birthday, but it was Day 4 of his Guinness World Record (GWR) attempt -- which, by the way, he's running in order to help raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). To date, ~$35,000 has been raised for this attempt...and his new goal is $38,000 (after all, he's 38 today) -- so, if you'd like to wish him a happy birthday...*hint*hint*....go to the GWR web site and donate $38...$380...or $3800! Get my point?

A sports writer called today who's writing an article on Mike's attempt at the GWR. Can't blame him...Mike's doing amazing things with his running gift. *karma points*

He asked me the typical questions...and then the writer faltered, re-phrased his question a few times, and then finally said, "I have to know... what emotions do you feel to know that Mike started all of this in support of you..." He, of course, made the caveat that he understands that Mike's mission is so much bigger now in this fight against cancer....but how did I feel about having someone do something like this originally years ago for me?...

Wow. I was speechless. Nobody has ever asked me that question. Here's my answer: I'm tremendously grateful, extremely humbled and honored to have a friend like Mike. The cancer community as a whole is better off for having him as an advocate. I think he's amazing. (And, yes, I'm biased.) We talked about how it would make sense if Mike were doing this for a family member or something...but for a friend and coworker? Even more unusual. At that point, I believe the writer began to understand the type of person that Mike is and the passion he has to fight cancer.

So, today, I wish Mike a happy birthday. You are a warrior with a heart of gold. I know you'll break this Guinness World Record. I know you'll reach your fundraising goal for LLS. On behalf of cancer survivors everywhere -- thank you. I am alive because of the funds you've raised. Maybe someday, ...that "lucky dollar" you keep searching for, will fund the research that will help find a cure for cancer so I can stop looking over my shoulder and find peace that it'll never come back. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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