I am at the flybe lounge in Manchester, UK after a very precious journey to England. I spent the weekend with John Ellison from CAC Climbers Against Cancer. I find it very difficult at the moment to find the right words that match my emotions other than it was the most moving, fun, and touching trip I have had in a very long time. This is a trip that I will hold dear to my heart forever.
Soon I will be posting on my blog an interview with John, but in the meantime, I feel like I needed to post something from my heart expressing my sincerest gratitude to John for being the ‘hostest with the mostest’ (heehee) as he accommodated having me for a weekend, following him around, asking him questions, taking random pictures at any moment, and so on. I just want to help raise awareness like many others do as well, but I realize that having someone around in your face experiencing life with you can drain someone’s energy, but John so passionate about his life and CAC and would have it no other way, that is just who he is, an amazing person all around.
How did I find CAC? Like everyone else, I saw all these folks on Facebook wearing colorful t-shirts and then a pro-climber messaged me to check it out, like the page and get a t-shirt. I had to find out more about this organization. Let me tell you why. Years ago, when I was married, my late mother-in-law was diagnosed with advanced non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. With 6 months to live or less, I deferred 2 semesters of college to help take care of her. Now mind me, my precious sister-in-law moved back home and made the full sacrifice of taking care of her mom 24/7. The last time I saw my late mom-in-law she asked me to take her to the beach. We did. By that time I knew I would be working in research and she asked me if I could do anything, even if it only touched a dent in the progress of technology, how would it sound if I dedicated my life to cancer research. At the moment I knew exactly my calling, and I agreed that that is exactly what I would do. 15 years later, my heart is in my work, not a moment goes by I do not think about the patients in my clinical trials. It is what moves me to do my job and travel like crazy. Anyhow, a few years after I divorced, I found this cool thing called CLIMBING! Then a few years later I run into CAC. Now with that background….
I emailed John just to get a little feel of what the organization was about and asking him how I could help. Then after messages back and forth, I did the inevitable. I asked him how he would feel if I flew all the way from the US to interview him and get to know more about him and CAC? I think he was taken by surprised but immediately responded yes ma’am. In chatting back and forth I got the sense of how wonderful of a guy he is, in fact I expected a really awesome weekend. Well…..it exceeded my already high expectations. See John is quite an angel, I cannot explain it, but he really is a gem, so precious, yet so beautiful. John has terminal cancer and he wants to spend every possible moment raising awareness and giving back by raising funds to help further cancer research. I literally felt his passion over the internet, but in person, it is beyond radiating and his energy is so positive. Every moment was a precious moment; I cannot explain it any other way other than precious. You know when you climb to the top of a beautiful line and the view is breathtaking that you have no words that best express the beauty of it all because it just is breathtaking….that is how I felt the whole weekend.
Anyhow, I just needed to reflect on a few things I learned this weekend from John. But one major tune John made sure I knew was….enjoy every waking moment of your life, and appreciate everything, the big and the small details. And that I promised myself I would do my best to do from now on.
While I write up the interview, please take the time to:
- ‘Like’ CAC Climbers Against Cancer Facebook page
- Spread the word to your friends and family
- Buy a T-shirt and wear it with pride (www.climbersagainstcancer.org)
Now off to Spain to Train, if I can secure a dongle (internet), then I will make sure to make several posts next week on my progress of getting back out to my Spain and after my finger injury.