May 22, 2014
A vertically challenged gal’s blah blah blog …
I was going to kick this blog off with something possibly comical, potentially creative, and probably self- indulgent, however … absolutely important is so much more appropriate.
Please meet my inspiring 11 yr old friend, James. (I mention his age because he’s mature for his years, I don’t mention my age, because … I’m not). Right before we took the above picture late last year, James (who was visiting NYC w/his sweet little sister Hanna & truly amazing parents Cindy & Richard Furman, on a Make A Wish – Dream trip) exclaimed, “Doesn’t my dad look great?! He was supposed to die last month.”
Whoa … I’m rarely at a loss for words. “No, he wasn’t supposed to die last month.” I quickly & genuinely shared …“Your dad’s supposed to be here with you, like he is right now.” James thought that through, but I’m not so sure that he believed me. Several months later, I continue to choose to believe me.
James’ incredible forever father was given little time with his stage IV esophageal cancer diagnosis, yet this very much full-of-life husband to my longtime friend, father of five, (James & his sister initially being foster kids who ultimately became a big part of the Furman’s forever family) renowned (former) touring drummer for rock & roll hall of famer Brenda Lee, and then some … Richard Furman is courageously smiling his way through cancer, while doing his best to beat the odds. In fact he’s prepping another surgery as I’m writing.
To quote James from his youcaring.com fundraiser page:
￼￼￼”My parents adopted me and my little sister from the foster system and from that moment, our forever family was changed forever. Dad is beating the odds and is still telling jokes to make everyone around him feel better and laugh nine months later. I wonder if he is doing this to feel better or for me and my family to feel better. Cancer sucks! Sorry for the cursing dad but it does.
My dad seems so happy everyday and helps others to feel happy even when he has a hard time just walking across the room. He doesn’t complain but I see him.
My dad is my hero and has shown me courage. He says that helping others when you are in pain will help you to heal and feel better too. I am trying to do this but cancer sucked the energy right out of my head. I am a zombie
I heard that my dad’s medical bills went over one million dollars! That is more money than is in the Monopoly game.
I want to show my parents what I have learned. With my dad’s cancer, things are harder for my family to help others. I miss walking the pound puppies. My parents taught us to find a need and fill it.
￼Please pray for my family and if you are able to help my family together we can all be heroes. My little sister has raised over $50.00 with her lemonade stand. I am very proud of her.”
Thank you, James
￼Well done, James. How right you are, cancer does “suck”. I’ve shared your youcaring page info above, in hopes that it will reach a few who were unaware of your mission to help your hero of a dad. You’re my hero!! (Your sister & mom too!) Continued prayers for your dad, please tell him to keep those jokes coming. For anyone kind enough to be reading, the link above offers more of James story on his dad, and how (if possible) you can help. The link below offers a recent USA Today article on Richard’s surprise celebration with Brenda Lee.