QUICKLY…because that’s what today is all about…

How QUICKLY can we beat cancer? How many people can be saved by what we give and do and the ripples on the pond that our actions create?

When I was a child, it was fairly rare to find a family touched by cancer. Today…it’s rare to find any single individual who doesn’t own a storehouse of pain from the loss of someone they loved, cared about, or knew. If you’re one of those rare people, well, count your blessings because rare is exactly what it is.


Lorenzo Charles and The Moment

I live in Seattle but my heart, still, to a great degree, lives in North Carolina, and I was fortunate enough to live there when Jimmy Valvano was coaching at NC State. I was standing in a bowling alley, beer in hand, with several great friends, when Lorenzo Charles took that airball from Derek Wittenberg and banked it in to win the NCAA championship. Beer flew everywhere. This was the iffy NC State Wolfpack, playing as an all-time underdog against the unconquerable Houston Cougars. Winning, for Coach V, wasn’t even a reasonable daydream. But, suddenly, there’s Jim Valvano, running around the court, unsure who to hug first. In that Winston-Salem bowling alley, strangers – in a state in which State was always a distant third wheel to the Irresistible Force that is UNC and the chic country-club appeal of Wake Forest – were hugging, even kissing other total strangers. Some beautiful young woman, whom I didn’t even know, crashed into me, kissed me, and shoved my face into her cleavage. (It remains one of the highlights of my life.) The underdogs had just climbed atop the kennel and were howling. And all of us proud Carolinians howled, too.

And then, later on, we found out that our beloved Coach V…was battling cancer. And that word, “battle“, which is frequently metaphorical, was and still never has been more literal. Jim Valvano strapped up, with his last energies, and took on a disease. He spoke near daily, raised money, started a foundation which later became The Jimmy V Foundation and one of the most powerful, effective, and enduring charities in this country…and it’s STILL, just like its defiant namesake, ramming headlong into this heinous disease, to this day…

this day. This day, every year, ESPN gives over its programming to honoring Coach V and their own heart and soul, anchor Stewart Scott, who worked tirelessly for The Jimmy V Foundation and then contracted cancer himself. It’s not at all an exaggeration to say that Stewart Scott’s struggle touched every sports fan in America and a LOT of other people besides. Five years ago, his smile and vigor and optimism ended, but with a bang, with the same defiance and unbending determination to end this disease that was shown by Jimmy V. Stewart Scott’s memory generates millions in donations, just as Coach V’s has, and today is the nexus of that effort.




Have YOU been damaged by this horrific disease? Has your family had its heart broken, its spirit wounded? This is a HUGE club. I’ve lost my Uncle Donnie, my Aunt Sarah (whom we all called “Bunny”), my best friend, Bill Trotter, my grandmother, and, less directly, my Mom, who contracted cancer, beat it for a while, and later died of the long-term effects.


My Mom

Nobody knows who’s next. NOBODY can say, “This will never happen to me and mine“.

But wouldn’t it be, well, the whole world if we could?

What if we beat cancer in our lifetimes? What if it became something for which you go to the doctor, get treatment, and could forget about? What better, higher possible legacy could we leave to our grandchildren and all those great-grandchildren to come?



Take a moment out, TODAY – or any day you like, are thinking about it…or have gotten your own Unthinkable Bad News – and click on any of the links in this post. GIVE – it doesn’t matter how much. YOUR $2 donation could just be The Tipping Point, the two bucks that finishes the job of finding a cure. And, whatever else you think about this, DO NOT allow yourself the lazy, smug complacency of thinking, “This doesn’t affect me“…because it could, tomorrow, in a week, in six months…and what if that cure comes before your own News? Do it for your own reasons, for your Mom, your Dad, your aunts and uncles, your friend…God Forbid, your child. Or just Do It for that person in your bathroom mirror, who needs, deserves this cure just as much as anyone else.

But we WILL NOT end this reign of terror if WE don’t act. Daddy isn’t coming to save us from the Big Bad Cancer. If we whip it, we whip it by our own determination and drive and common Will.

And our part of this starts with a checkbook or a credit card.

Click on ANY image (except the video clip) in this post and you’ll wind up at the V Foundation website. It’s open 24/7/365. There is no wrong time to give. It’s just that today…well, thinking of Stewart Scott and Jimmy V, it’s front of mind. So don’t wait.

Click. Read. GIVE.



Speak yer piece, Pilgrim.

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