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Gilroy Relay for Life

We were very fortunate to be part of an amazing and powerful Relay for Life the weekend before last here in Gilroy. It’s funny how things come full circle in life. Years ago Kathy got involved as a volunteer coordinator for the annual event when it was still fairly new in town. She pulled me and the rest of the family in to help out, and we loved it. Fast forward to this year when I was honored to speak at opening ceremonies as a survivor, and Kathy did an incredible job speaking at the luminary ceremony as a caregiver.

We had a wonderful team, “BUCK Carcinoid”, that was spearheaded by Stephanie with lots of help from Stacy. I was completely overwhelmed by the support from friends and family, several dozen people all wearing our black team shirts emblazoned with zebras. My parents were here. I was totally surprised by my best friend Derek, wife Leanne and daughter Faith when they showed up (seen holding our hands in photo). They actually slept in our house the night before and I didn’t know it. Well played. There were too many other people there to mention, but every single person truly touched me and Kathy.

Our emotions were fried through tears of sorrow and joy. We walked, played, reminisced and just had a great day. By Sunday morning when closing ceremonies rolled around I was spent. Several of us survivors stood up at the stage and watched lots of young people cheer for us, then come forward with signs saying things like, “It’s okay to be sad”, “Keep fighting”, “Stay strong”, and the one that made me really start bawling, a 5-year-old holding a sign that read “We’ve got this”. Ugh!

Well over $100,000 was raised for the American Cancer Society. Thank you to everyone who helped make this event so special.

As for my health, I’m doing well, feeling good, and really working hard. I’m in a holding pattern just waiting to see what the next round of scans and labs reveal. Kathy and I will be off to LA in late August to visit my doc at Cedars-Sinai and I’ll be sure to post the results after that.

Take care.

Glad to be Back Home

Well we’ve been in Gilroy for about a week now and it’s great to be back home. We really missed everyone and especially missed our comfy home. The trip back was uncomfortable for me but that was to be expected. It was great to be able to crawl into my own bed. Unfortunately Kathy had to stay in the guest room until Wednesday as an added precaution.

I still have abdominal discomfort and queasiness that comes and goes, but that’s getting a little better every day. My energy level is also improving. I went to work for a few hours Wednesday – Friday last week. My post-therapy symptoms are considered normal and I didn’t have any complications. I was able to get my regular monthly injection of Sandostatin LAR on Wednesday so that helps me feel a little better.

I go back to Houston for round two in October, the 11th through 15th. It will just be a 5 day trip, with an MRI on Tuesday afternoon before the Wednesday therapy, then flying back home on Saturday. Hopefully that MRI will show some tumor reduction.

Fundraising is still moving forward at an incredible pace, with just over $46,000 donated to date. Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed. The first big benefit event is this Friday afternoon, a golf tournament at Gilroy Golf Course. The tournament is already sold out, but there are still seats available at the 6:00pm dinner for $25 each. If you’re interested in joining us please contact Mark Derry at mderry@gilroydispatch.com. I’m really looking forward to a great day spent with many friends and family members. Also please mark your calendars for another fantastic benefit event scheduled on October 8 at 6:00pm – a dinner and auction at the Portuguese Hall. Please contact Mayor Al Pinheiro for tickets and more information at al@pinheiroinsurance.com

Thanks to all of you who are following along here, posting your supportive comments, sending good wishes via text, e-mail and phone, and for giving us the strength and support to keep on fighting the good fight. Take care.

Overwhelming Support

Well it’s only been one short week since I put this site online and already the outpouring of support has been incredible. I am truly humbled by the many kind words, the good thoughts and prayers, and the financial donations. I’ve received contributions from people close to me, and from people I don’t even know. I’m having trouble finding the right words to express my deepest gratitude. All I can say is “Thank You”! You are making a difference.

To date $7,309.87 has been raised. Amazing. That puts us well on the way toward the $18,750 that we need by August 14th when I leave for my first trip to Houston. We’re shooting for our overall goal of $75,000, but only need a quarter of that for each of four trips between August and about February.

Plans are in the works for some local fundraisers. Many thanks to the wonderful people who are working on those. I will be posting more on that here as information becomes available.

Site Goes Live

Well I finally have all of the kinks ironed out and am putting this website online. The last tiny piece of the puzzle was some html code for the PayPal link on the Donate page. Thanks to Angela Merrill at The Lois Merrill Foundation for working with me to make that happen, and for very graciously accepting the donations on my behalf. And thanks to all of you for visiting…