I just wanted to write you a quick note as is my Christmas time custom to wish you all happy holidays, and to give you another reminder of how lucky you are to be here.
In the line of work I’ve chosen, I get to interact with all kinds of people — most often younger people — who have faced huge challenges. To see their determination, energy, and attitude in the face of such huge adversity, is a remarkable gift. No other way to put it, really.
I have long said that teachers and nurses have a unique element of their profession (I know other professions fit in here as well). Teachers and nurses have the distinct opportunity every day to make a profound impact on another person’s life. Of all the amazing lessons I’ve learned in my 29 years, the most cherished is the one involving the feeling and satisfaction associated with making an impact on another person’s life. I’ve been fortunate to have this experience in my work life and personal life, and the best part is that these opportunities that teachers and nurses have every day are right there for all of us to have every day, too. Recognizing them and taking advantage, well that’s another thing entirely.
I was in Toronto last week with a mentor of mine looking to form some relationships that will help bring RealTime Cancer to the next level — or the next several levels really. While I was in town, I visited an old stompin’ ground of mine, Princess Margaret Hospital, where I had my first bone marrow transplant in 1999. It was great to go back and visit as a visitor, and meet with one of my docs and the transplant coordinator. While I was there my doc said “wow” five times, according to my count. At one point he looked at me and said, “You know, the longer you are out, the better it gets!”
I recognized a long time ago that the impact I love to make can often be done by doing nothing other than being here. I still feel an inspiring sensation when I hear of another who has travelled a road similar to mine and is further down it than I am. Presenting those living, human, symbols of hope is a major part of what RealTime Cancer is all about. It’s damn powerful to see that someone has made it through a challenge that from many points along the road can seem impossible.
Everything is possible. Believe that, and you’ll be amazed at what you can do.
And to swing back to the moment at present, we are just a few days away from Santa Claus arriving, tons of turkey, family, and good cheer for many. This time of year also ranks as the most stressful for lots of people and families.
Odds are, if you are reading this email, you’ve been more blessed than most. Odds are, if you have friends and family you’ll see this weekend, you’re more blessed than most. Odds are, if you’ve got a great dinner planned for this weekend, you’re more blessed than most.
We’ve all got tough stuff in our life, certainly some have more than others. But whatever your stuff, I firmly believe that we create our own experiences. And I don’t mean that we pick what happens to us, but I definitely do mean that we pick experiences after that stuff has happened. It is our choice to see the good or bad in life and here’s my thought: If you consider yourself one of those who’s had more good than bad in their life, how about sharing some of the good with another who maybe hasn’t had as much.
We’re all in this together, and I mean every one of us, and when one suffers, we all do. Similarly when one has some joy we all have joy, so how about throwing some of that around?
I hope this is your best holiday season ever and that you are getting ready to make 2005 the best year of your life.
It’s good to be here. I hope you never forget that.
Live life. Love life.