What an amazing opportunity to thank the men and women who work so hard to unlock the answers to cancer. And what an amazing bunch of people they are. Very warm. Very personable. Very supportive.
My speech went off pretty well, I think. They wanted to know how we came to be doing this. Our inspiration — them. The adversity we’ve faced — breaking my back, hip and leg just before year one. The heartache — losing my stepdaughter (Rusty’s sister) to metastasized breast cancer on day six of year two. And they wanted to know of our victories — the biggest one being raising more than a quarter million dollars to be used as they see fit for breast cancer research.
I ended my speech by telling them that I have daughters-in-law now — young women who I don’t want to ever have to look down the barrel of the breast cancer gun — so I was there to make a deal with them. If they’ll keep on researching, I’ll keep on driving my team around the province every summer!
And then our old friend — well, young friend — Dr. John Mackey got up to speak and blew my socks off. They will be using $100,000 of this year’s research money to fund further study into one of the suspected causes of breast cancer. Research to date has them fairly sure that some breast cancers are caused by a virus! A virus! Can you believe it? If this new research confirms their suspicion, it will just be a matter of time before they have a vaccine. (Well, he didn’t say anything about a vaccine, but that’s what I think.)
Wouldn’t it be cool to think that that’s what they do with our $177,000?