Truth to my soul
Truth #1: My parents gave me the middle name Vida, which means life. They also said I could jump to the moon if I really wanted to. As a child this expression was silly and I insisted that it was not true! As an adult I must say THANK YOU for that metaphorical gift of empowerment and fearlessness!
Truth #2: In October 2004 I was diagnosed with not one, but TWO kinds of lymphoma. LUCKY ME! I am sure it is because of my parents’ lessons of spirit that I can turn a diagnosis of cancer into inspiration for personal growth!
At the beginning of that same year, I opened my first restaurant, Crave. In the 5 years of its successful run, I had over 70 employees who collectively served breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week to well over 200,000 people. I have been touched by every person that came through the doors of my little 29 seat restaurant to eat my food. After all, they had to seek me out to find me. The location was on a street that as my brother put it, had “tumbleweeds” rolling down the sidewalks. And he was right, it did. What I saw as untapped potential, others viewed as a bad location and said I was crazy. Good Crazy is what I say to that, and is the only way I know how to be.
I now look back and recognize there is a very direct correlation to restaurant ownership and being diagnosed with cancer. I have learned that the stress of daily operations and lack of sleep erode our health and immune system. However, the joy from touching so many people through their bellies far out weights a few stinking chemo treatments!
I now am at the edge of a life transformation. My path is once again shifting and I embrace all of the changes that are ahead. Food is a beautiful means to that goal, and yet it is not the sole means. The tools of modern technology are enabling us to connect into the vast world bringing us closer with each e-mail, blog-posting, tweet or image we put out there. With these media, we can accomplish tremendous feats, even curing cancer. Perhaps it is Titan I really should be aiming for; after all, our moon has already been conquered!!!
How fortunate we are to be alive at this moment in history where scientific breakthrough is an everyday event. One of those I hope will be a discovery that leads to the cure of follicular lymphoma! I am very optimistic about the feasibility of this goal knowing the current research that is underway at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
I share all that I have to offer to the people around me in hopes that it in turn has a positive impact on another individual. This notion has been called “pay it forward”. I also know it to be the fundamentals of “Grass Roots” organization. My hope is to take my roots and forward them synergistically to empower another individual and ultimately a whole community. If you are reading this, you are part of that community and I thank you from the core of my soul.
Truth #3: Knowing that we are stronger as a collective, I am reaching out to ask for help in empowering the research of people like my oncologist, Dr. John Pagel. He recognizes his own gift that he can share and is focusing his life work to find a cure for follicular lymphoma. I hope that you will join me in striving for a world where disease is only a matter of molecular manipulation and ALL of our potential is maximized by supporting this research and ensuring an even more amazing life for myself and others that share this incurable disease!