Thank You

     “I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.”
—  William Shakespeare

As I have traveled down the road of a cancer patient, hitting both potholes and unexpected pleasures along the way, I realize I have many to thank.  Here is a partial list:

1)   I thank my wife, Janis, for her love and constant assistance, and for listening to my tireless discussions about cancer, how it changes people, and the need for cancer research.
2)   I thank our daughters, Lauren, who lives in New Orleans,  and Jenna, who lives in New York,  who each have matured in ways one cannot articulate after having been faced with this burden, throughout which they have given their father the true love of a child – perhaps the best love of all.  I also thank them for their insight into the creation of the website for The Triumph Fund, and in particular to Jenna for her keen insights into brevity and other matters – about which her dad frequently needs instructions.
3)   I thank my siblings, my in-laws, my nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, for their tremendous love, support, and prayers in this battle.  This overall support fuels the fight and the passion to rid this world of cancer.  I thank my friends, some of whom have or had cancer, and all of whom also have provided the love, support, and prayers that make a cancer patient smile as he or she engages in this fight.
4)   I thank the physicians and staff of the Medical College of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee for their care, compassion, and brilliance, as well as their hugs.  Among others, I thank Dr. James P. Thomas, Dr. Kirk A. Ludwig, Dr. Kiran K. Turaga, Dr. T. Clark Gamblin, and Dr. William S. Rilling of the College and Dr. Sam G. Pappas, formerly of the College and now with Loyola University. I  also thank their respective staffs, including Yee Lan Wong, Deb Andris, Megan Jilling, and Deb Schneider.
5)   I thank Katie Couric, whose public service announcement about colorectal cancer hanging on the wall of LaGuardia Airport in New York in August 2010 stimulated a doctor’s appointment that caught the colorectal cancer that, with our doctors’ collective genius, we continue to fight.

     “I would thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom.”
—  Author Unknown

Our Special Thanks:

Since I first started receiving chemotherapy, in October 2010, I started to wonder who was responsible for this life-saving “poison” being thrust into my bloodstream.  After reading up on the subject, and discussing it with my oncologist, I realized there are many scientists and others in the field who deserve credit for helping save my life.  Unfortunately, they are too many to name, and, even more unfortunately, I do not even know the names of a great many of them.  One name I do know, however, is Sidney Farber.  Just as, other than my parents, Hank Aaron and Bart Starr were my childhood heroes, Dr. Farber is my most recent hero.

Dr. Farber is justifiably viewed as the father of modern-day chemotherapy.  He was born in Buffalo NY in 1903 and passed from this world, a world he made a better place, in 1973.  The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in the Boston area is named part after this giant of a man.   A pathologist by training, Dr. Farber’s passion and his unique and fortunate makeup forced him to reach outside the sphere of pathology and, in the late 1940s and beyond, into the realm of searching for a cure for childhood leukemia, through which he made ground-breaking strides in developing chemotherapy.  His work met with more than limited success.

Dr. Farber also helped bring to life The Jimmy Fund, which in turn helped bring cancer research funding to the forefront of the American psyche.  Dr. Farber was instrumental in turning social and political attention to the battle against cancer.  Dr. Farber’s heroics are detailed in the wonderful book, The Emperor Of All Maladies.  The world owes Dr. Farber and his vision a debt of gratitude.


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