Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Waiting for the Cavalry

This was tonight's campaign update message to potential donors....

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We’ve all seen this kind of movie…. A coyote's howl, as mournful and lonely as a graveyard at midnight, echoes faintly off the canyon walls. The pitiless midday sun beats down on a scene of desperation and devastation as vultures circle overhead, eagerly anticipating the feast to come. Our hero, Slim, squints into the sun over the barrel of his trusty Winchester and pulls the trigger. A bad guy drops from the rim of the canyon like he was kicked by a mule, cart-wheeling in slow motion down the slope. “Thanks, Pardner,” says Shorty. “I thought fer shor I was a gonner. Good shootin’!” Slim loads his final three cartridges into the Winchester, and glances sorrowfully over at Red, who stares sightlessly at the Western sky, his blood creating psychedelic vermillion patterns in the sand. “There’s just too danged many of ‘em, Shorty,” Slim says. “Yup. If the cavalry don’t get here soon, we’re done fer,” Shorty says haltingly. “Well, the cavalry ain’t coming this time, but I’m a-gonna turn three more of them fellers into buzzard chow afore I’m done,” Slim says as he grimly sights his rifle once again.

Suddenly, so faint at first as to be almost imagined, the martial sound of a bugle tiptoes along the canyon. Quickly, the now unmistakable sound of the bugle is rapidly drowned out by the thunder of hooves and the shouts of men, as the cavalry comes sweeping through, flushing the bad guys out like sand before the tide. Once again, the cavalry has arrived just in the nick of time and saved the day.

In real life, the arrival of the cavalry is not nearly so assured. Day after day, cancer patients are told to just keep hanging on. They are told: “The next breakthrough is just around the corner. Just hang on. Hang on one more day, one more week, one more month, one more year, five more years. Help is on the way. All you have to do is hang on.” But every 10 minutes of every day in the USA, the cavalry arrives too late for someone with a blood cancer. They can’t hang on any longer, and their agonizing and devastating fight comes to an end. Their family is left to wonder “what if?”

You and I are not the cavalry, although there are weeks I spend enough miles on my feet I that feel like I could be a cavalry scout. But your donation to LLS is helping to buy the “cavalry” – medical researchers, doctors, nurses – the things they need to take the fight to blood cancers, and to ultimately prevail over the bad guys of cancer. So if you haven’t made a donation to LLS through my Cancer Kickin’ Campaign, please consider doing so with a check or by way of my web page:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/va/rnrseatl10/art_ritter

To the many of you who have donated, my sincere and deep thanks.

Let’s get the “cavalry” to arrive in time for so many people who are suffering from cancers around the world. As I write these words, every four minutes a new blood cancer diagnosis occurs in America. Every one of these people and their loved ones will ponder if they will survive. So for the parents of the three year old who wonder if their daughter with leukemia will blow out the candles on her next birthday cake; for the young woman with lymphoma wondering if she will live to dance at her wedding; for the young man with leukemia who prays he will survive long enough to attend his high school graduation; for the man with myeloma who wonders if he will ever get to hold his grandchild: I say, let’s do what we can now so that these things have a better chance of happening.

Thanks for your support and for your consideration of a donation. In the process, maybe you will help turn my hair purple for the half-marathon in Seattle in less than seven weeks. If so, I am pretty sure I will be the first “cavalry scout” ever with purple hair! Now that’s something you won’t see in a Western flick! What would Slim think about that?

Thank you very much from my “Survivor in Seattle” Campaign!
Art

2 comments:

Hannah said...

Nice to hear from you - Go Team!

So excited to experience my first marathon (well, 2nd I guess, technically, since San Diego is happening a few weeks before) in Seattle.

You are going to look FAB with purple hair. Awesome!

Racn4acure said...

Thanks Hannah. Oh you will have a blast. Two marathons in one month? Very impressive for anyone, much less a first time marathoner. Maybe we will cross paths in Seattle.

The purple hair is looking possible. I am closing in on it but have more money to raise.

GO TEAM!