Here’s my Leukemia story and why I sail in the Leukemia Cup.
This is a picture of my little brother Larry. He invented the selfie in 1967. He died of Leukemia roughly six months after he took this picture. He was my best friend and wrestling partner and second youngest in a tribe of five. We shared a room for all of his brief 11 years and we laughed or argued each other to sleep every night. He was also the bravest person I ever knew and endured horrific and endless hospital visits with the fortitude of a warrior, the calmness of a monk and the disposition of saint. It was truly amazing to behold and humbling to experience. My mother and father God rest their souls did everything in their power to save his life. As did many doctors and nurses at Stanford Hospital. Larry passed away in August of 1968. I’ve sailed in the Leukemia Cup since it’s inception aboard my friends John and Leslie Arndt’s Ranger 33 Summer Sailstice in order to stay close to my brother and go sailing with him in my memory.
This is a picture of my great nephew Cal, my niece Jaye’s 3-year-old son.
On August 2, 2017 our family was delivered a second kick to the stomach when Cal was diagnosed with Leukemia. Now Cal too fights a battle he didn’t choose with the spirit and courage of a super hero. Where children get this strength is mysterious and awe inspiring. The very good people at Valley Children’s Hospital in Fresno are supporting his effort like they’re taking Cal all the way to the World Series. Between Jaye’s motherly strength and Cal’s amazing fortitude and will I’m convinced that Cal is going to live a full and fruitful life.
In Larry’s day the survival rate for Leukemia was abysmal. Cal’s chances are much much better thanks to Larry’s generation of patients, doctors, nurses and researchers. Leukemia is a battle we are all touched by and the only way to win it is through expensive research and family sacrifice. There is a chance that this harsh reality can be brought to an end. Pediatric Leukemia is one of the most studied, and curable diseases because of tremendous research efforts and financial support.
Great strides have been made. More work is needed.
On October 22 Cal will be honorary skipper aboard Summer Sailstice in this year’s Pacific Union Leukemia Cup Regatta http://www.leukemiacup.org/gba/ Team Summer Sailstice is raising money to compete against a club that nobody wants to be member of and needs to be abolished. When he gets through his 3-year treatment program I’m taking Cal out sailing for real.
Any donation is greatly appreciated.
In remembrance of Larry, hope for Cal and a cure for Leukemia.