This is going to be a tough one, folks.
Today, I'm setting aside workplace issues to focus on a little boy named Shane.
Shane was born on July 11, 2013. The youngest of three, by all accounts, Shane was a happy and healthy newborn. His parents are truly blessed and his siblings adore him. Now, Shane is eight months old. And, as you can tell from the picture, he's got a toothy grin that lights up a room.
But, then came the news that no parent ever wants to hear: Shane has cancer.
I still have trouble reading those words: Shane has cancer. I remember reading them for the first time a few weeks ago when Shane's dad emailed me with the news. As a father of four young children, my heart immediately broke. I know what it's like to have a young child who is suffering through illness. But, one of my children with cancer would be unimaginable.
Just associating the word "cancer" -- even the most treatable forms -- with a son or daughter is nightmarish. So, you can imagine how Shane's mom and dad are living through hell; Baby Shane has been diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. He now faces over 40 arduous weeks of chemotherapy to battle a form of cancer which kills 9 out of 10 children afflicted.
With the deck clearly stacked against this little eight-month-old baby, Shane's family is grounded in hope and resilience:
"He's an 8 month old baby fighting stage 4 cancer. How does this happen? There are things in life that will never be explained. We have no idea why we were chosen, but we were. So, we must move forward and fight for baby Shane."
This kid is a fighter too. I'm told he crushed the 1st two chemo treatments.
My money is on the cutie-pie underdog.
I don't know about you guys, but I like to back a winner. Sure, it's easy to bet on the favorite, but --- Shane, can you earmuff it for me? --- Fuck cancer! This horrific disease is no one's favorite.
And even though cancer may have the upper hand right now, none of us are focused on 90% mortality odds. All of us know that Shane is going to get through his chemotherapy like a champ. And we remain positive that he's going to beat this disease.
Indeed, I can't imagine a more satisfying payoff and sweeter ending.
Please help Shane fight cancer.
Yes, there is hope for Shane. And you can help. If you too would like to back a winner, consider making a donation for Shane, which you can do here.
Your donations will cover any out-of-pocket expenses that insurance does not cover. Any leftover funds will go to the Children's Hospital of Pennsylvania's Oncology Department and to THON, Penn State University's childhood cancer fundraiser.
And, if you can't donate, please show your support by going to Shane's page and sharing his story on social media with the hashtag #HelpShaneFightCancer.
One day, we'll change that hashtag to #ShaneBeatCancer.