"IronMike, you've just been told you can reduce the number of visits Titanium Sam has to make to Childrens Hospital to only TWICE per year because he's doing so well -- WHERE YOU GOING?"
"WE'RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!
" (Kids don't know yet, shhhhhhhhh....)
Pretty happy house over here...
This trip was very different both in results and scenery. When we walked in, Childrens was transformed into a bazaar - there was a fundraiser going on for the hospital and there were arts and crafts everywhere! Guy writing your name on a grain of rice, stuffed animals, knitting, all kinds of stuff. Lots of holiday decorations and spirit, lots of sick kids smiling.
Watching Sam's surgeon [Harvard Medical School, M.D. Harvard School of Dental Medicine, D.M.D., Craniofacial Fellow, Plastic Surgery, Assistant Professor, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery]
- march through the hallway with her thumb in her mouth with Sam and I right behind her - well, it was a rare treat indeed. He's a bright light in what can be an emotionally dark place and they missed him between visits. Everyone smiles when he shows up, the surgeon's admin calls him her "boyfriend". They're going to miss him more there now, and we couldn't be happier about that.
When we were leaving - Hood push-pops in hand, smile on my face, Sam making me swing him over the cracks in the sidewalk, as usual - we came to the intersection at Longwood and waited at the light.
For some reason, I looked back.
It's several days later now, and I don't know why I did - I swear I was compelled to, as if something twisted my head for me. There was no thought involved. I never did this before, was always concerned with crossing a very busy intersection. But, whether it was because of the positive news and seeing Childrens in a different state - or time of year perhaps - or the long light at the intersection this time. It doesn't really matter - I looked back, and up, and saw "7 West", the oncology clinic at Childrens. You could see the names of kids across windows and in my mind I had the picture that's since been burned into my mind of the scene behind those windows.
It was then the decision was made for me.
Riding is hard on my body and schedule and fundraising even more so. As you all know, I've gone from shore fishing to the 2 or 3 charters I sneak in, and I miss all the fishing I used to do - the early mornings at Plum Island before work, the nights at the Canal after.
But I can't stop, not yet. At least not until Sam no longer has to go back to Childrens.
The decision had been made for me. The one I had been going back and forth on on for the past few months - whether I'd ride in the 2005 PMC
and on. At that very street corner where I've stood now countless times, Sam's hand in mine - it wasn't something I
decided - it was indeed decided for me: I will ride again and I will raise more money than last year. Because Sam and his sister said they want to help other kids with cancer, because Renee signed up to massage again and is in spin class so she can ride with me.
Because life signed me up to do it.
“The Dana Farber exists for one, and one thing alone. To cure cancer and put itself out of business.
The PMC is here to whittle away, piece by piece - first build us up to the level that we need to be - and then take every bloody brick of this building down so no one needs to be here.
I don’t know if it will be 25, 50 or 100 years. But at some point I’d like to see this building gone.”
Lee Nadler, MD
PMC Senior Investigator since 1985
We all wish all of you good health into and throughout the New Year!