Kathy’s Krew: Cause good causes never stop being good.

The dollars, always the dollars: Kathy’s Krew

Joe Pesci had it right in Casino. Ultimately it always comes down to money.

Yeah it’s a beg for money. Not claiming I won’t say some funny or wildly inappropriate crap on the way to the big ask, but at the end of the day, I’m asking for a donation. The beauty in this deal is I won’t be calling you at dinner time, hiding behind a caller ID that masks my true identity as a solicitor, and I’m not some obscure charity.

Nope this one is all too real and all too personal.

The Warden getting her walking papers from the radiation team.  Nice robe bro.

The Warden getting her walking papers from the radiation team. Nice robe bro.

This is my little sister Kathy. We call her The Warden. She’s the youngest of the 8 of us but for some reason when you say, “You’re not the boss of me” and she replies “Yes I am” – you believe her. Hence The Warden. Anyway, she is a breast cancer survivor. So far she’s kicking cancer in the ass. Even though I used to beat her ass when we were kids and would act out the WWF Wrestling we watched from The Spectrum in Philadelphia way too long ago, she’s tougher than me.

 

 

 

The kid whisperer with Frank and The Warden's son Nicholas

The Kid Whisperer with Frank and The Warden’s son Nicholas

This is my brother-in-law Bob. He’s one of the nicest, kindest guys you will ever meet. Never stops working. Works a little too hard if you ask me, but hey I think we’ve established my laziness already. Bob is also a pet/baby whisperer.  Not kidding. Bob can calm any animal, any baby. They all take to him immediately.  He really is a regular Dr. Doolittle and whatever the equivalent for kids would be. Bob was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Lymphoma (ALL) in 2010. He has been kicking cancer’s ass for a while now. He is a survivor too. He’s tougher than me too.

Now beside the cool nicknames and the survivor thing, they have another thing in common. They are the Lilliputians of our family. They’re tiny. Those pictures aren’t to scale, they’re life size. (not really) As it turns out, the smallest amongst my giant family, (8 kids, 7 spouses, 10 grandkids) happen to be the biggest ass kickers.

This small person/big ass kicker thing might be a new evolution of the human species. Read Lisa Haffner’s blog for an incredible story of a another pint sized woman who has been beating cancer about the head and face since she was like 11. Lisa Haffner is something special. She lost her leg as a child and is still kicking cancer in the ass. I continue to be amazed by this women’s will and fortitude.

Celebrating a deuce.

Celebrating a deuce.

Update Feb 28 2014: Lisa has since gone terminal but you would never know it. She was told she had 6 months to live…. 13 months ago. The picture to the left is of Little Lisa Lollipop and her husband Juan. That ain’t a gang sign they’re throwin. It’s to celebrate her first normal poop in quite some time. Yeah cancer struggles and victories come down to the smallest of battle fields.

Life’s not fair. Some people are just blessed with more grace and more smarts and more toughness than the rest of us. Lisa is one of those people who just squeezes every ounce out of life no matter the circumstances. Do yourself one favor this morning and read her blog. little lisa lollipop

The other commonality The Warden and The Kid Whisperer share is they both decided to take their survivor-ability on the road. They started a team to raise funds and awareness.  Their first Relay for Life event is June 13th in Linwood, New Jersey.

And yeah we have arrived at the moment.

The big ask.

The squeeze.

The pimpin.

The gratuitous beggin for your hard earned greenbacks.

Now do yourself another favor.

Donate.

Go to my sister Kathy’s Relay for Life web site and donate: Kathy’s Krew  If you see the same picture of her in that smart looking hospital gown, you’re in the right spot.  She has set a goal of 5 large, or $5,000 for you non street people. They are making progress but they are not quite half way there. This reminds me, she’s also a Bon Jovi stalker so you might see her quote some of his musical offerings on her page; another indicator you are on the correct web site.

Frank’s Place has already ponied up 50 bones, (again, a street term for money). Don’t be left behind. Drop a few nickels in the tip jar and join two of the smallest ass kickers I know in the fight against cancer.

They ought to put that on the t-shirt: Kathy’s Krew – Ass Kickers for Hire.

I’d wear one.

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Diary of a Stay at Home Dad: A good cause, always a good cause

So me and the misuses (Tracy) are doing our first charity event.  Well second actually.  A lot of you read about the big fundraiser UT Medical had where they interviewed Tracy and a few other parents about the experience in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  If not, you can see that here: Four weeks and Famous.

But this is our first event since bringing Anne Marie home in July.  Surprisingly, it’s not for her, or for premature babies, or for the NICU at all.  It’s the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a walk for Breast Cancer Awareness.  While we were in our little bubble of going to the hospital every day for four months, sometimes twice a day, life apparently moved on every where else for most.

In that moving on, my little sister heard words no one wants to hear.  “You have breast cancer.”   Of the eight of us siblings, she’s definitely the talker.  She was rendered speechless, for an entire day.  So shaken was I, that a day and a half passed before I could even muster up the courage to call her, fearing I would not be able to keep my composure.  I’m actually struggling as I type this.

As I said she’s the talker out of the eight of us, and probably the toughest, and my five sisters are as tough as they come.  My two brothers are the oldest of our brood and I remember plenty of times where my oldest sister Jane, and my little sister Kathy, would have both of them cowering in a corner or fleeing for their lives out the front door; chasing them with a hair brush or a long piece of orange Hot Wheels track.  We had some wicked bare knuckle fights when we were little.  She has become sort of the engine of the family and we call her The Warden for good reason.

It took her about a day or so to get up off the mat and make a plan.  Not unlike her frequent trips to The Container store, she has this whole deal organized.

Tracy and I want to help, but we live 700 miles away.  So Tracy has organized a team to run, (ok probably walk), in the 3 mile Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure event here in Knoxville.  It’s a small thing, but it’s what we have at the moment.

Here’s the ask.  If you would like to help us in this endeavor go to Tracy’s team web site and drop some pennies.  Any amount is appreciated.  Team Tracy: Race for the Cure

Here are a few shots I know I’ll be in trouble for.  This was my father’s 80 birthday in 2009. Kathy is the bottom left.

Jimmy, Tommy, Jane, Carol, me, Susan, Mary Grace, Kathy, Mom and Pop.

This next shot is after some arduous camera instruction by Kathy.  As I said there is a reason we call her The Warden.  The inmates were starting to revolt.

Natives getting restless. Tommy never gets caught. Until this picture.