Recently I was asked to moderate this webcast on knowing your family history. Prevent Cancer, the organization, seems to think my personality fits with some of their activities, so I used my voice and on-camera presence to help them coordinate the webcast. It was great. We discussed how to position the conversation, where to begin, where to go, and what to do with the information once you know it. We took questions via Facebook and Twitter, so thankfully we didn't have to use my own questions. Yes, I do have a favorite rest area on the NJ Turnpike, the Grover Cleveland. What stuck with me was one of the panelists, herself a fashionista much more than me. Although her liking my choice of blue suede shoes is important, her story of taking drastic measures to prevent breast cancer that has plagued her family, is a little more important. Apparently in the beauty and fashion world, removing your breasts doesn't always find favor. Maybe I'm older and wiser, but I find beauty in the "flawed." As I like to say, scars are tattoos with better stories. We did discuss my story on camera as well. I'm not at the point where I'm ready to remove more GI tract yet, as the next step would be an ostomy. It may be eventual, but not yet. I told her that I always have a place for her in my "blue" world if she doesn't feel welcome in the pink world.
A sports philanthropy summit was in Manhattan so I asked to join as well. So much enthusiasm, volunteer spirit and emotion. I think of Jim Valvano frequently and of course his ESPY speech. Forgive the anecdote, but each of the two days, I laughed, thought, and was moved to tears. To me, that is a full two days. Thank you for having me there. I left with the opinion that I was doing something worthy and was on the right track.
This weekend we had our first AliveAndKickathon New England. This was the first venture outside my comfort zone. In other words, unlike New York and Jersey, I don't know everyone personally in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It was definitely a learning experience, especially less than a month after the Boston marathon bombing. Logistically, we did really well. Financially, we did okay. We did very well in contacts and message impact, so next year is already in the planning phase. Participant numbers could have been better. We'll adjust and address and re-work. My blue Adidas turf shoes from the Brazilian Soccer shop in East Boston got a workout. I was pleased to play with Martha and her friends and family. It's not often you get to play with someone who played at Boston College, has a New England Revolution tattoo, and who lost her husband to colon cancer at 32. We're a kindred spirit now. I'm very happy she's found someone special after a dozen years or so. Her fiance is a good egg, although his soccer game is lacking. And over a 24-hour period, I played more soccer with my two teenagers than I have over the last three years (I lost one to high school wrestling and the other to his acting career). And when the Rev Girls and Breakers ladies players came out for the event, they were impressed that me, Ev, and Brian were all survivors, soccer players, and yes, Colondar models. We gave them our autographs. Seeing the banner and hearing our public service announcement at Gillette Stadium at the Revolution Red Bull soccer game was the icing.
As always, I'm thankful. Thankful for those who tolerate my world, encourage me, and participate in whatever capacity they are compelled.