Pep Talk: “Forever And For Better”

May 21, 2017

Whew. A ten-week sprint to raise money for blood cancer research is over. Admittedly, I had no idea what to expect when saying yes last fall to Leukemia & Lymphoma Rocky Mountain‘s invitation. It became a blessing.

What did your knucklehead scribe learn through volunteering for MWOY? Wow. First, 40% of ALL CANCER drugs on the market today have origins in blood cancer research. It makes sense.  Blood flows through our entire body, right? If we get our arms around blood cancers, we’re gonna get our arms around a lot of cancers. Furthermore, research in blood cancers is spilling over to help those with Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, MS and Parkinson’s. Good stuff!

I learned the names and tender stories of young children like Logan and Madison. Kids kicking cancer’s butt. Or, older folks like Gary trying to whip a nasty form of recurring (AML) blood cancer that, so far, has researchers baffled how to curtail. Cancer sucks.
Wonderfully it was discovered, when caring about community, businesses like Bad Daddy’s
Lukas Liquors and US Mortgages are bad asses. In particular, Bad Daddy’s. It’s leadership team, store managers and staff all threw heart and soul into encouraging store patrons (11 Front Range locations) to beat cancer, not someday, but today.
This campaign confirmed Denver Broncos’ head coach Vance Joseph hasn’t changed a bit since the first time we met. It was 25 years ago, when the former CU quarterback was a freshman in Boulder. The New Orleans’ native was a little shy but possessed a big heart. Still does. Once Joseph learned of blood cancer research offering hope for those with Alzheimer’s, like Broncos’ owner Pat Bowlen and college coach Bill McCartney, the 44-year-old stepped up. Joseph provided unique auction experiences and a chance for a lucky Bad Daddy’s customer to have lunch with the coach and talk football. 
Life is fascinating. We never know when opportunities emerge, like Bad Daddy’s wonderful support. It started because this aging jock loves Bad Daddy’s food, music and vibe while hanging in the Cherry Creek North store. Saturday afternoon beers with buddies while watching sports led to meeting manager Chad Juenke. He ran the blood cancer support idea by company executives. Bingo, a partnership was born.
For ten straight weeks long-time Denver sports legends graciously offered their time for “Bad Ass” Tuesday events. Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian was first, Ron Zappolo, the closer. We called it, “Wrap with Zap.” More than three decades ago, the Boston native inspired a clueless (that would be me) dude to pursue television sportscasting. His influence  changed my life forever and for better.

In 1988, two years into a beloved sports journalism career, I was fortunate to return to the Mile High City as the “Buffs Guy” for KCNC-TV. Zap, a Denver television icon, was the main sports anchor. I learned much about presentation, interviewing and style. The Boston native had time for an inexperienced guy in the business. Showed me the way. Thanks, buddy.
Do the same for somebody this week. Encourage them. Unfortunately, it won’t cure cancer. However, it might, too, change the recipient’s life forever and for better.

Powered by WPeMatico