I started this blog one week ago but it's been in development for many years. I tried keeping a journal in the past but my thoughts weren't coming out the way I wanted. So what changed...why now? I suppose it started with my desire to give back. So much has been done for me over the years, hundreds of thousands of tax dollars spent on my treatments. The time and energy of family, friends, nurses and doctors who continue to care for and support me. As much as I appreciate everything it has taken it's toll on me. What is my purpose?...to drain the system and everyone around me!? I'm still alive for a reason and I've spent countless hours thinking how I can make a difference. Slowly I realized that it wasn't going to happen overnight, it was going to happen little by little. I want to be there for people, help people...support people. Last year I promised myself I'd never say no to anything and I'd do my best to be there for my friends no matter how I felt, within reason. I was so excited this past summer that I was able to make it to the wedding of my best friend from university. Brennan lives in Texas stands 6'4, weighs 265Lbs and looks like a defensive back in the NFL -probably could have been. His heart is as big as he and when I first got sick all those years ago, he came to see me three times in a six month period. He would force food into me as I was half the size I was in college and struggling to put weight back on. One visit I gained 8 Lbs thanks to him. Anyway he met a beautiful girl, Amanda, who shares his interests and keeps him in check. I was still feeling pretty rough from the Europe trip but I sucked it up and Meg and I flew down to share the experience with them and their families. I'm very close with his family and was so happy that Meg got to meet them all. It was a beautiful wedding and we had a blast!
Last year I began working with the VGH foundation to put together a plan to raise $1 million for multiple myeloma research. They have been fantastic in helping me develop a package that discusses my family, our struggle with this disease and why we need funding if a cure is to be found. I'm very determined to reach this goal and know it's possible. I've met many patients over the years, all of which have a story. It's for them that I've set out on this mission. Anytime I feel down I think of all the faces I've seen who at any given time, are worse off than me.
Eva Markvoort - A few weeks back I had the privilege of attending a local movie premier, a documentary titled "65 Red Roses" about a beautiful young woman who's been battling Cystic Fibrosis all her life. If you know anything about this disease you know how horrendous it is. Just a few years back she had a double lung transplant in hopes of giving her a better life. Her spirit and the way she embraces life has impacted me greatly. I can only say you need to watch this documentary and it will be airing on CBC this month. Megan went to high school with Eva and I was able to meet her that night. I wanted to say something to her but nothing came out. I know what she's feeling and maybe nothing can be said - just a hug would suffice. She is now looking to have a second transplant as her body has rejected the first. If anyone can make it through this it's Eva. I think about her often and can't thank her enough for the strength she's given me.
James Mouat Sedgwick (Jay) - It's been ten years since Jay left us, he was only 24 years young when he passed. He fought a truly courageous battle with cancer and I consider it a privilege to have been there to witness it. His strength continues to push me and no matter how bad things get, my fight pales in comparison to his. He went through more horrors in a three month period than any human should experience in a two lifetimes. His aorta blew twice - they cracked him wide open and he came back both times. He was in a coma for weeks and he came back again. The day before he passed it was his birthday
and his family and close friends gathered in his room for
a party. For the first time in weeks maybe longer he was
sitting up in bed, smiling and talking with us while palming a football in one hand. We all thought he'd made it, he had survived 3 months of the most horrific shit the human body could take. It was a day that none of us will forget. The next day I went to see him, he looked tired as his mother was rubbing his feet. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and told him I'd be back later to watch a movie. That was the last time I saw him. A few hours later his aorta blew for a third time and after a scene I couldn't imagine...he was gone. If I accomplish anything in this life it's because he is with me, driving me to be a better person...he's inspiration!
Posted by Chad Warren at 12:58 PM
SarahNovember 7, 2009 at 12:01 PM
Following your blog, Chad and sharing it with a few others you may remember from SLU. Thank you for choosing to share your thoughts, your fears, and your life with us. Keep writing!
Lots of Love,
Sarah (Marchese) Knorst
Donna RuskNovember 7, 2009 at 4:10 PM
Wishing you well, sending you love and light.Looking at Megan looks like you have found the love and light of your life! She is your one in a million! Congratulations to you both!
LOL.....and keep writing!
AnonymousNovember 7, 2009 at 5:21 PM
Chad, You are an inspiration and your story is "giving back". I've always believed that you're wise beyond your years and that you truly "get it". You've been me champion and been in my corner for a long time. I miss seeing you at HCC, but you're never far from my thoughts and your gift of the web log lets me follow your progress without intrusion.
Best to you and Megan.
I'll post a note from time to time.
TraceyNovember 7, 2009 at 7:48 PM
I love the pic of you and Jay. Can you believe I still have a tea towel that was his from our apartment. I can't part with it....