Throughout my life there have been many numbers of significance. For instance 4 -- the number of children I have had the immense pleasure of being a father to; or the age when my daughter Alex first voiced her desire to host a lemonade stand to help doctors on their way to finding cures for all kids with cancer.
When I was 13, I was kicked in the solar plexus during karate class. The sensei came over to me and explained to me that I had "gotten the wind knocked out of me." And he was right. Quite literally, in fact. I couldn't breathe. Hearing that your son has a brain tumor knocks the wind out of you in a completely different way.
Looking back I don't know if it was the inspiration of a courageous little girl who lived so close by, who was treated at the very same hospital, or our continued commitment in a world where it's hard to keep commitments, but I know that she and her siblings have gotten the message -- "when life gives you lemons, do something about it."
Carpools and T-Ball practice, which once ruled my schedule had now been replaced by something called a roadmap. A roadmap, that if closely followed, would come close to maybe guaranteeing a 70 percent cure rate. In the blink of an eye I had become a mom with a 30 percent chance of having their youngest child die before she reached her 7th birthday.