Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Salute to Johan

Two years ago this September, our friend and pediatrician, Diane Fuquay, MD, passed away from breast cancer. She was a brilliant doctor and a very empathetic mother & friend. She could calm even the most nervous new mom, and I know what I am talking about, firsthand!

After her memorial service, our family headed down to Portland, Oregon to participate in the first-ever LIVESTRONG ride to benefit the LIVESTRONG foundation. We are cycling fans, David in particular, and he wanted to ride for the foundation and see Lance Armstrong.

Gregg and Katie joined us in the early-morning cold, and cheered us on as David and I set off with many others for the 10-mile ride (David wanted to do the longer ride, but I have knee issues, and was only willing to go 10 miles). They greeted us when we came in, and we had lunch and a big celebration with the other riders on the NIKE campus. It was very exciting, and we felt great about riding in Diane's memory. I remember sitting together as a family, watching Lance, Eddy Merckx, Bob Roll, George Hincapie and others celebrating the funds raised for the foundation. I also remember crying about Diane's death, right there in the crowd. I can recall the kids' excitement when they passed Bob Roll and George Hincapie on the lawn -- the guys they saw on TV during Le TOUR de FRANCE! David & Katie played catch in the sun, looked at Lance's career memorabilia and had a great time.

Last weekend, another "cancer mom" wrote and sent me this picture of her brave son, Johan (, who is 10 years old (& has already had 2 brain surgeries). Johan decided to ride in the LIVESTRONG ride this year, raise funds to fight cancer, and honor others who have cancer or who have passed away from it (you can see Katie's name on one of the cards behind him). I am so impressed by his maturity and his unselfishness. What a wonderful boy and family.

It's an wild circle, for me, that we rode in Diane's memory 2 years ago, and Johan rode in Katie's memory this year...we had no idea that cancer would hit even closer to home.

So today, I want to salute Johan. He's a great example of how to LIVESTRONG. Bless you, Johan, and your entire family!


Nan Lofas said...

Thanks, Karen!

Honestly, you've been so complimentary of Johan and our family and I just feel like we're limping along - three high-spirited and contentious kids who love to pick on each other and generally complain about their lot in life, two tired, grumpy parents who yell too much and don't find enough happiness and joy in life. Of course, there are moments when I look at Lars and my kids and think "Ah - you're all wonderful" - but I wish it was more often!

I guess at the end of the day, we're all learning and trying to do our best (or not!). What I have come to most value, and am trying to teach my kiddos, is that touching other's lives - and allowing ourselves to be touched by other's lives - is paramount.



A said...

Karen, Your blog inspires me everytime I read it. We ran the Portland Marathon this weekend with your names on our hats...and prayed with you along the way. Love you tons...