45 minutes and counting...
December 16, 2016
Michael Psarouthakis wrote -
Something I Know We Can All Agree About - Part 2: Erg for the Cure
What a difference a year can make…….It has been a crazy roller coaster kind of year, but all is good now.
In some ways, not much has changed since last year, politics, religion, crime, climate issues remain significant matters of contention and debate, with little agreement from any side. Elections have ended, recounts have begun, the world continues to argue and debate from the right, left and middle with no end or agreement on how to move forward in sight.
But there is one thing that has not changed since last year, and that is the fight against cancer.
Last year my family was dealing with this disease on a very personal basis. Both my wife Lisa and son Adam were diagnosed with cancer within months of each other. Lisa was diagnosed with very early stage Breast Cancer (DCIS) in July 2015 and Adam was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, stage 2, in October 2015.
Treatment for both Lisa and Adam was tough. Lisa had lumpectomy surgery and then 21 radiation treatments dealing with the various complications resulting from the treatment. Adam had to undergo 6 months of chemotherapy, also dealing with the physical challenges of his therapy. Both were treated by the incredible staff, nurses and doctors at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Amazingly both Lisa and Adam stayed on course with the normal parts of their lives while undergoing treatment. Lisa continuing her work at Emerson School and Adam continuing his studies in Computer Science at the University of Michigan. Unfortunately Adam did have to stop competing for the University of Michigan Men’s Rowing Team.
So now let me tell you what a difference a year makes, because the news is unbelievably great for Lisa, Adam and our family. Lisa and Adam are now both cancer free. While both will need to be monitored closely for several years, recent scans and blood tests show no signs of the disease.
Regular life goes on as well. Lisa was recently promoted to Director of Admissions at Emerson School. Adam is back in school full-time and has worked his way back onto the University of Michigan Men’s National Championship Rowing Team, one of the finest university club rowing teams in the country. He competed and won several varsity rowing events this fall and is looking forward to the spring season.
While we are cautiously optimistic about the future, cancer is still, and will always be, that dark shadow in the corner. It does not care what you look like, where you are from, whether you are rich or poor, religious or not, your political affiliation, or race. It causes pain, suffering, and sorrow, and often disrupts and ruins lives. Both Lisa and Adam will have to visit an oncologist frequently for the next few years and at least annually for the rest of their lives.
So you may be wondering if things are going so well why this post on Crowdrise? Last year I wrote a post entitled Something I Know We Can All Agree About on LinkedIn and Facebook. Along with that post I committed to rowing one thousand meters for every year on my 55th birthday to benefit research at the U of M Comprehensive Cancer Center and/or Lymphoma research. I asked people to donate $5.50, $55, $550, $5,500 etc. to help me celebrate my 55th year. The post went live just four days before my birthday and the response was incredible, raising over $28,000 in donations.
Well, my 56th birthday is fast approaching, December 17th, and instead of asking for your support because of the uncertain and possibly scary future my family had, I want to ask for your support because of the bright future my family now has, due in large part to the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center.
So, in celebration of my 56 year, in celebration of the successful treatments for Lisa and Adam, in celebration of life and happiness, in celebration of no more cancer, and most importantly in celebration and gratitude to the amazing staff, physician assistants, nurses and doctors at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, the time has come for me to ask you once again make a donation. This year, the UMHS Development team has helped me launch this Crowdrise campaign, and I am asking for donations to the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center for research into ALL cancers in amounts of $15.60, $56, $560, $5,600 or whatever you can spare.
What do you get in exchange for supporting the incredible work at the University of Michigan Cancer Center? Well besides a tax write off (check with your tax advisers to be sure) you get the satisfaction of knowing that I will be rowing 56,000 meters (34.79 miles) on my birthday, and you won’t. What a deal!
But wait there’s more! Adam has decided he will be joining me that day and also rowing 56,000 meters. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR? It is a two for one, make one donation and get Adam and me to suffer through a total of 112,000 meters, nearly 70 miles!
Seriously, your donation will support the ongoing research that will someday make it possible so no one will have to go through what my family went through. Your donation will support science and research advances and the doctors, scientists and staff that bring amazing cancer discoveries to reality, so those less fortunate than my family will have a chance for better outcome tomorrow.
Please click the link below and make a donation to support the cause and continue the fight I know we can all agree about. The fight against cancer.
By the way Adam and I won’t actually be rowing on the water; it is a bit chilly for rowing this time of year in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Instead we will be using an indoor rowing (torture) machine called a Concept 2 Ergometer to row those 56,000 meters (34.79 miles) times two.
I will be posting comments and pictures through the following days and on the day of the big row. Please consider donating, and sharing this post with as many people as possible. Links to this campaign on social media are especially appreciated to help get the word out.
If you missed my post from last year, Something I Know We Can All Agree About - Part 1, you can read it at this link: Something I Know We Can All Agree About on LinkedIn
Pictures of Adam and his U of M crewmates rowing were graciously donated to this campaign by Benji Bear Photography. Check out Benji’s fantastic photos on Instagram at Benji Bear Photography