13 Feb

Dr. John has added cancer survivor to the following impressive list of credentials: fine physician; wonderful friend, uncle, brother, grandfather, father-in-law, husband, etc.; and world's greatest dad.

At the American Cancer Society’s 6th Annual “Evening of Hope” this past weekend, my wife and I gathered with hundreds of other supporters at The Metropolitan Club in Alpharetta, Ga., to raise funds and celebrate cancer survivors, one of whom is my dear father.

As displayed on his own personal storyboard at the gala event, the following describes my dad’s experience fighting the dreadful disease:

Thanksgiving of 2009, I noticed a lump on my neck. Being a 63-year-old man and realizing that the lump was abnormal, I immediately went to the doctor. A biopsy revealed a squamous-cell carcinoma. The primary was unknown, necessitating 35 radiation treatments and three chemo treatments. The combination of these treatments led to an inability to eat. A feeding tube was required for nutrition. I lost 35 pounds in spite of taking nutrition through the tube. Since my last treatment, my scans have all been normal. My next scan will be in late January of 2012. If that scan is normal [editor’s note: IT WAS, PRAISE THE LORD!!!], the doctors tell me my cure rate will rise to 96%.

I would encourage anyone with an abnormal symptom or physical finding to seek early detection. The earlier the treatment, the greater the chance for a cure.”

Pete Van Wieren, the event’s Survivor Honoree who was diagnosed about a year after retiring from the Atlanta Braves broadcast booth, wowed the crowd with his touching tale delivered with the announcer’s signature polish and dry humor.

“Some of the people praying for me were the same people praying for the Braves last September so I didn’t know how strong their connection was,” quipped the Hall of Fame broadcaster and husband of 47 years, who noted that his granddaughter’s middle name is Hope.

The snazzy setup, fantastic food, silent auctions, contests, live music and very friendly staff made the event even more special. As the organizer of a 2004 “Party with a Purpose” feeder event for the American Cancer Society, I can tell you that the hardworking organization has not lost a step in the party-planning department. You can’t spell fundraising without F-U-N!

A million thanks to all the organizers and sponsors of the “Evening of Hope,” and, of course, to those doing all they can day by day to find a cure. Here’s to all the survivors out there who couldn’t attend the wonderful event, especially the world’s greatest dad.

Proud to represent my father at the American Cancer Society's 6th Annual Evening of Hope.


One Response to “AN EVENING OF HOPE”

  1. Bro G March 15, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Just surfed my first wave on the Bleeve blog. Great Work! I really enjoyed your piece on Dad. Cool thing you have going there! Keep the ideas flowing.

    I’ve been thinking about that Alaska trip we have coming. You want to lock in on a guarantee that we go before I hit 45?


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