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LIve, Love, Learn -- Everyday

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A week ago, a little over 15 family members came out to walk with “Team S.i.F.” (“Strength in Family”) to honor my dad’s fight against cancer.  We also recognized other members in the family that were survivors and those we’ve lost in the Delphos, Ohio Relay for Life (benefiting the American Cancer Society). 

Team S.i.F raised over $12,000 for cancer support for a rural NW Ohio community.  The overall event raised roughly $90,000.  All of the money raised stays locally to help research and fund patient advocates. 

We were also blessed/humbled to learn that dad was selected as the honorary male chair for the event!  The amount of support from family, friends, and the community has helped lift dad’s spirits over the last few difficult months — THANK YOU to everyone that helped honor/support our team!!!

QUICK FACT: Did you know that the American Cancer Society has provided seed money to over 46 researchers that have gone on to win Nobel Prizes for Cancer related research? 

The song used for the video (“More Time” by Needtobreathe) is from the movie “P.S. I Love You" - where a man is taken too soon from his wife.  It talks about wanting more time to say/do what they want before the end.   Relay for Life helps provide that extra time for families like ours.  

Filed under team sif american cancer society relay for life delphos ohio richardson ps i love you needtobreathe nobel prize

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My Gratitude Knows No Bounds…


Out of all the years I have professionally and personally been in philanthropy/fundraising – this year – this cause – is by far the one that has meant the most to me.

 As most of you know, my dad is fighting an intense battle with Stage III pancreatic cancer that has a survival rate of less than 5%.  He has been a trooper through it all, and consistent with the values he taught me as a kid, he has done so with grace, humility, and laughter.  This fight has not been easy and will continue to test us as we approach a critical deadline in his treatment.   In the next two weeks (if all goes okay), he will complete his chemo and then visit The James Cancer Center (at Ohio State) to see if surgery is an option for removing a medium-aggressive, large tumor.  If surgery is NOT an option, it could mean this is my last year with pops.  The ironic timing of this news comes as Father’s Day looms in the immediate future – thus leading to my somber/reflective mood as of late.  

The people listed below have earned my respect, adoration, and commitment to do whatever I can for them in the future.  They have realized how deeply personal this effort has been for me and made a consorted effort to do something (regardless of how big or small) to show they cared.  Words can barely express how grateful I am for what they have done to honor my dad in this year’s upcoming Relay for Life.

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."  by Albert Schweitzer


Thank you to those who have helped keep my flame lit:

  • Arman Afagh
  • Jorge Ancona
  • Jeff Anderson
  • Yann Antonioli
  • Matthew Bancroft
  • Arnaldo Barone
  • Eileen Barsi
  • Brian Bates
  • George Beach
  • Carol Beattie
  • Shannon Beckman
  • Thomas Becktold
  • Michele Bersani
  • Nancy Bussani
  • Francisco Castillo
  • Ray Chalom
  • Tami Chapek
  • Greg Chase
  • Bruce Coffman
  • Beth Colbert
  • Amber Daulbaugh
  • Darwin Dayan
  • Jay DeGuia
  • Leon Directo
  • San Do
  • Lee Duren
  • Dan England
  • Eric Ernst
  • John Falcon
  • June Faison
  • Kecia Feathers
  • Christina Fernandez
  • Jeff Flora
  • Tyson FitGerald
  • Nora Fought
  • Gary Gansle
  • Ronnie Genotti
  • Chris Garcia
  • Chris Gonzales
  • Rene Gonzalez
  • Tommy Grace
  • Erik Greeny
  • Marge Grey
  • Constance Haehn
  • Pamela Hearn
  • Kenny Heller
  • Matthew Hernandez
  • Patti Hilkert
  • Tim Holt
  • Brandon Hong
  • Todd Horton
  • Dax Houston
  • Christopher Hull
  • Brenda Jamrus
  • Gayle Karafil
  • Mary Kincaid
  • Renee Kopczewski
  • Chris Kusaba
  • Mandy Lambert
  • Tim Law
  • Patrick Love
  • Fred Najjar
  • Cathy Ng
  • Deo Martin
  • Koni Matkin
  • Bruce McGuire
  • Phillip Meade
  • Mary Meyer
  • James Moore
  • Laurie Morgan
  • Chris Munro
  • Eric Munro
  • Deanna Peck
  • Devin Phatak
  • Jackie Phillips
  • Christine Price
  • Denis Radovanovic
  • Ruben Ramirez
  • Karen Richardson
  • Mike Richardson
  • Paul Richardson
  • Matt Rigdon
  • Allison Roberts
  • Aleks Robles
  • Christopher Rowley
  • Michael Saenz
  • Ron Sakai
  • Lisa Scoffield
  • Lance Scott
  • Charlee Seaton
  • Alfredo Seoane
  • Eric Shaw
  • Mark Smith
  • Matthew Smith
  • Roger Spinti
  • Jaime Stewart
  • Nancy Stewart
  • Rico Stevenson
  • Klash Su
  • Buck Torres
  • Miguel Torres
  • Shaun Trathen
  • Lon Troyer
  • Robert Trujillo
  • Jared Tubertly
  • Mark Tuck
  • Keith Tyndall
  • Gregoire Venier
  • Jason Vitaletti
  • Matt Voges
  • Antony Walker
  • Howard Wan
  • Lisa Wegley
  • Gail White
  • Vince Wilson
  • Kevin Yang
  • Anita Yoder
  • Hassim Yunos






Filed under Cancer relay for life gratitude thankful The James Ohio State Buckeyes Wexner Medical Center

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Roger Ebert Would Give Two Thumbs Up for Cancer Support!


April 4, 2013

Today, we lost a iconic name in the movie industry to a long, drawn-out battle with cancer.  Roger Ebert loved many things, just three that have made an impact on me include: 

  • quality movies,
  • persistence,
  • and LIFE  

As you might already know, this year I am doing Relay for Life - in support of Cancer Research to honor of my father - a man that also loves movies (if you could see his movie collection you would be ASTOUNDED!!!!!!!!!) 

ALL of our lives have been touched by Cancer in some way - whether it was through the loss of someone we loved, or through our personal battle as a survivor, or watching/supporting someone fighting for their life today.  I hope you might consider making a tax-deductible gift to support my efforts this year and help make a positive statement to my dad that there are people fighting for HIM and others going through their fight!   Your donation is 100% tax-deductible and can be made in honor of whomever you would like that has had cancer.  

I am typing a small paragraph about each of the people that make a donation to my Relay for Life effort and sharing those with my mom & dad.  He’s been uplifted by the level of support by those that he has never met!  

Please help me make a difference in the lives of many by supporting my Relay for Life effort this year.  Roger Ebert would give two thumbs up for helping those in need of support.  


EVERY dollar counts!  To help, visit:  __________________________________________________________ 

More on Roger Ebert’s Life

Filed under Relay for Life Roger Ebert Cancer Movies

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A “Coming Out” of sorts…


Saturday, March 23, 2013


Today marks the day where I have made a decision to publicly talk about something that has affected my family since roughly the start of the new year —- CANCER.

Early in 2013, my father, the man that is responsible for making me the man I am today —- The man that taught me to love unconditionally, judge sparingly, help often, work hard, strive for perfection in what you do, laugh, and learn something new EVERY day —- was diagnosed with Stage III Pancreatic Cancer. 

You might be surprised to learn that with as MUCH as I post on social media, certain things are usually off limits - relationships and family are two of those that fall into the “off limits” category!  I do not like sharing personal details as I believe certain things should be kept private - so that the bond of a relationship has value. 

BUT… in an attempt to focus on positives and not potential outcomes, my brother/sister-in-law, and nephews decided to go public with the news of my father’s cancer diagnosis.  WHY? …to focus on supporting dad and others fighting cancer. 

With the news, we decided to create Team SiF - “Strength in Family” —- for the Delphos, Ohio Relay for Life - coming up in June of 2013!  Our goal as a team? … raise $30,000 for local cancer support for a rural, socioeconomically depressed area.  $30,000 in Delphos, Ohio would go SO far in helping the lives of many! 

Can YOU help?  Can you donate $100 or more (or less if you’re not able to do $100)?  Every dollar will help us reach toward our goal!  You can honor someone in YOUR life that has fought cancer - whether they won and are in remission, or still fighting, or you have lost but are forever in your memory. 

EVERY dollar is a 100% tax deductible contribution!  Donations can be accepted on my personal fundraising page or via cash/check.  Receipts are automatically issued for those donations made on-line. 

I hope you might help us make a statement to my dad that there are others out there who understand and have been through the fight against cancer - and who love life and those that make this world a better place.




Filed under Cancer Pancreatic Relay for Life Delphos Team SiF Family Dad Help

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Clearly, the “Trickle Down” economic policies of the 1980’s and continued support for tax loopholes for the uber affluent have done nothing but shrink the middle class and push more people into poverty.  Clearly, those that think tax breaks for the rich will spur future economic growth are WRONG.  Even today, the New York Times had an article on corporate profits soaring but stagnant job growth. 

Filed under New York Times Trickle Down Economics Wealth inequality job creation poverty wealth sequester

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From 1987 on, my life was changed by the face of HIV/AIDS, by little Renee and her fight to survive brain cancer only to be struck down by AIDS through a blood transfusion.  This memory was my first encounter with HIV and everything that goes with it (family dealing with loss, discrimination and ignorance from a small rural community, etc.).  Renee’s memory is the fire that lit my passion for HIV/AIDS volunteer work.  One of the many ways I remember Renee is through an annual video that includes the most updated statistics from W.H.O. (World Health Organization) on HIV.

Please consider sharing on Saturday, December 1, 2012 in celebration/reflection/memory of World AIDS Day - #WAD2012

Filed under WAD2012 World AIDS Day 2012 HIV

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Urge SF Board of Supervisors to Reinvest MUNI Surplus into Performance

This is a quick sample letter, but a copy of what I sent to each supervisor this morning.  The vote is expected today, I’m not sure what time. If interested, feel free to use or change any part of the sample I provided below (if I had more time I probably could have written a MUCH better letter but hey, time is ticking)..



Supervisor (INSERT NAME)

As a long-time social justice advocate, I understand the need to care for those that cannot care for themselves.  Providing a social net to help boost people so that they are productive members of our society is an important job as a civil servant and human being.  Providing these opportunities in a way that allows everyone to retain their dignity is vital.

In the news, there have been conversations on whether to utilize $3M+ for free youth passes for low-income kids or to reinvest that money to increase the on-time performance of MUNI. I believe the support for free passes at the expense of improving the on-time performance of MUNI is a serious disservice to EVERYONE living in San Francisco.  Let me explain my reasoning.

The city has an increased focus on being green and getting more cars off the road as we continue to grow.  This will not happen if the on-time performance hovers around 60% (or heaven forbid dips below that), as those relying on MUNI to get to/from work will be forced to start driving.  Working professionals need a transit system that can get them to/from their destination in a timely/reliable manner —- if this is compromised, people will have no choice but to find an alternative solution to ensure that they are able to make their work commitments — in this case, purchasing a car.

Additionally, the youth that you are wishing to help (low income youth via free passes) are at a disservice as well, because the inherent message the city is sending is that time/quality is not important. The city reinforces the message that the very kids they are trying to help are NOT important.  The proper respect for affected communities would be providing transit options that HELP improve situations (reliable transit so that people CAN get to work on time and provide for their families, make a connecting BART or CalTrain, etc.) .

If the vote has yet to happen this morning, I hope you will make the right decision and vote to reinvest the surplus from MUNI back INTO the system so that it can gain respect as a viable transit option within our city.



SF BOARD OF SUPERVISOR WEBSITE: (with easily accessible email forms for each supervisor)


Filed under San Francisco MUNI