Sunday, April 30, 2017

Pep Talk: "Logan & Gary Get It"

“I really like playing soccer but I’m a little behind,” was the statement calmly flowing from the speaker’s lips. We were sitting at a Bad Daddy's Burger Bar in preparation for another “Bad Ass” Tuesday for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) nationwide effort to raise money for blood cancer research. Logan is darling, six years old and a cancer survivor. “While all my buddies have been running around on the soccer field, I’ve been fighting leukemia. But I’m getting stronger and faster.” Atta boy!

This young dynamo has captured the heart. Many feelings flow when thinking about the first grader, his parents and a sibling. “She can be a little bossy” says the “Avengers” superhero fanatic (Iron Man’s his favorite) about a beautiful older sister. Perhaps three years older, she patiently attends LLS events knowing the focus is on a younger sibling. That ain’t easy. I observe Logan’s parents and try to fathom how they fight off the question, “Why our precious son?”

But thanks to advancements in blood cancer research and treatments, despite battling the disease most of his life, the cool cat’s in remission and there’s hope for a cancer-free future. As a father of two grown children, “Thank you God” is a daily prayer for a son and daughter without any significant health issues. Blessed and empathetic for those not so lucky.

Logan has found a sidekick on this journey. Gary Staton’s a retired executive with Good Times/Bad Daddy’s and wrestling a particular nasty form of recurring blood cancer. At a recent event, while watching them chat, thoughts focused on their terrific attitudes in addressing an unwanted and frightening season of life.

Young and old, cancer does not discriminate. I recall my older brother, a colon cancer survivor, and his grim description of radiation treatments: “Imagine sticking your ass in a microwave for a few hours.” I can’t. Thoughts zip to a buddy currently fighting testicular cancer. “They found some inflamed lymph nodes and are suggesting chemo and radiation is necessary.” Damn!

This roller coaster called life and its unexpected twists and turns. Whether child, middle aged or beyond, we have no control over any line except the starting line. When adversity strikes, what spirit will be brought forth in combating whatever ails and help us prevail? Whether foe is illness, injury, divorce, job loss or other “What the hell is going on around here?” kinda moments, our attitude plays a huge role in determining outcome. It’s been amazing to observe how Logan, Gary and their loved ones, persevere. I recently read something that struck a chord. “Change one word and you change your attitude. Replaced have with get.”

Life is precious and our health and well-being sometimes precarious. This week let’s confront the challenges with Get and not Have. For example:
  • I get to fight cancer because it means life
  • I get to work because it means providing for my family
  • I get to volunteer because it means serving the less fortunate
Logan and Gary get it. Let’s join them!

P.S. If you'd like to help us beat cancer, not somebody, but TODAY, here's an easy way to donate: Beat Cancer!

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