May 27, 2013 |
It is an interesting and very tight rope we learn to walk when fighting cancer. Positivity and optimism are almost as crucial (if not more) than the treatment itself. Many people are diagnosed and in their minds that is it. Upon hearing the news they go home, lock themselves away and accept an early death not even thinking they have a shot. This is not an irrational way of dealing with cancer and with all the evidence suggesting this is usually the end game, this way of thinking is totally understandable. The thing is though, this gets you nowhere and only makes what time you think you have left more and more devastating. The mental side of cancer is almost unbearable at times. Nobody wants to accept their own mortality and the fact that it is your own body that is trying to kill itself makes it exponentially worse.
Staying positive and never once thinking that my end is anywhere near me has kept me going. I am not an idiot nor naive to the point where I deny where this road could lead, but I chose not think about that. Yes, it is hard. It is the hardest thing ever sometimes, but that is temporary and it, like everything else will eventually pass. When it is not hard, life is even more amazing than it was before. You see things differently, you accept things easier, you start to see things you never noticed before in other people and recognizing peoples positive and negative energies either draws you or pulls you away from people in your life. Never giving in and never giving up is the only option for me and everyone else in this unchosen war for life.
An extremely close family friend and second mother of mine is currently in the same battle I am in. She is fighting an aggressive breast cancer with her war waging for over 2 and a half years now. She is the ultimate warrior of life and she is stronger than anyone I know. She is not doing so hot right now and the cancer is unrelenting and spreading. She has gone through surgery after surgery and chemo after chemo. The cancer is unrelenting. It spread to almost every part of her body it could spread to, but SHE is unrelenting. Even after a craniotomy to remove tumors from her brain under terrible health conditions, excruciating headaches, never ending nausea, pain almost too unbearable to handle and dehydration from not eating or drinking for a couple days, SHE is unrelenting.
I went and visited her and talked to her for a while. We all wear the wounds of cancer and it is visible everywhere even in the voice. The one place she still holds her beauty and always will is her eyes. Cancer can’t have everything and the eyes are the key to the soul. Her soul is miraculous and beautiful beyond words. She has the spirit of a fighting Spartan and the love of the most generous mother. This cancer is trying to beat her, but SHE is unrelenting. She is staying strong and she will come out on the other side soon and she will be greeted by her soon to be born first grandson and the return home from her son. Debbie is UNRELENTING and a champion of life.
I ask if you have a second, a prayer, positive thought, mental hug or a mental high five for this battle hardened warrior, Debbie. She needs a little support right now and she will wage this storm.
“It’s always darkest before the dawn.”
May 15, 2013 |
It is with the biggest smile and best intentions I get to finally say Little Kings Foundation (or LKF) is finally launched and accepting donations at Little Kings! This is just the first part of what will eventually be a full web site dedicated to young adults fighting cancer and preventative health and wellness. It will also serve as an outlet for resources and help with fighting cancer in other ways than the traditional ‘western treatment.’ This includes an entire mind, body, spiritual, diet and lifestyle philosophy that I have taken to through my journey. I promise I will never push anything or persuade anyone to follow in my footsteps, I hope to only give unbiased opinions on as many topics as I think necessary showing both the positive and negative aspects so you as a viewer can make an informed decision. There are controversies and naysayers for EVERYTHING when it comes to fighting cancer. The truth of the matter is there is no answer, so my philosophy is to try as many things possible and hope that one of them works. Chemotherapy and radiation rarely totally cures cancer, and there are thousands of other options many people simply never hear about because their doctor will NEVER talk to you about them. I am not negating Western Treatment because I do not believe in it, the truth however is on the contrary. There are thousands of outlets where you can learn and read about Western Treatments, but there is not a stable and credible area that has lots of different ‘alternative therapies’ and I hope to share those with you through the LKF website. I will go into much more detail as the web site progresses, as for now if you were one of the many who wanted to donate, the site is live and we have already built a trust due in large to the awesome kindness of our Co-Founder, Ryan Kalil with over $40,000 to help young adults fighting cancer!
On a not so awesome note, as many of you know I started my most recent round of chemo and this time was not a happy experience. This round seemed to be much worse than the previous few and I found out why Monday morning when I did my most recent blood labs. My blood tests came back extremely low and I had to stop all of my treatments until my blood counts stabilize. I am doing fine and I am staying mentally strong and with this foundation launching I am staying as busy as I possibly can so I don’t go crazy over thinking! I have been a bit tired and I think I can relate to what women experience in ‘morning sickness’ now, but today I woke up at 5am fully energized and feeling exceptionally well after doing a high dose Vitamin C drip yesterday so I already believe I am on the upswing and on the plus side, I get an extra week off of chemo this month!!!
Thank you to everyone who cares enough to read these and especially to everyone who has or is going to donate to the LKF! Lets see where we can get in making the world a little bit better together!
“It’s not the number of days in a life that matter, it is how you use those days and how many lives you change in those days that matter. We are all in this together and the only two things in life that are NEVER bad in excess are LOVE and FUN.”
May 6, 2013 |
Another huge gap in posts which there is no excuse for. When I started this I said I would keep everyone updated and I have been doing a terrible job for which I apologize for. I have been pretty busy with a lot of different things and just have not sat down to update everyone.
The foundation is coming along exceptionally well and with the help of some awesome people I am really hoping this becomes something awesome. It is slow moving and building a good web site is more work than I ever would have thought!
Last weekend I went out to Vegas to the Stupid Cancer Young adult cancer summit in Las Vegas. I met some amazing and wonderfully inspiring people. I also made some great contacts for the foundation and with the help of other young adult cancer fighters, we had a night of partying (which I payed for dearly the following day. Guess Im not in college anymore! ) It was such a nice thing to just get away and clear my head for a couple days, this was my first trip since I started treatment and I now realize how relaxing just getting away for a night or 2 can be when going through this nonsense.
This past weekend I got one last chance to soak up the sun and have fun outside before I start my next round of chemo tomorrow (kinda strange how the 5 days I will be on chemo the weather is absolutely terrible and the day I finish it is supposed to be beautiful.) With my babe of a gf, and a few of our friends, we went out to a nice lunch and enjoyed the sunshine all day Saturday and had an awesome lunch yesterday.
For the next couple months, the best way to keep track of me will be to ‘Follow’ me on Facebook. Unless I personally know you, I ask you follow me opposed to become my friend just so I don’t have a ton of people I dont know showing up on my wall (not that I don’t care, just would probably confuse me more than anything.) I will continue to try and update this as well, but I am becoming more and more busy with less and less time so with facebook I am able to post small updates.
If anyone is looking for something amazing to experience in Orange County in two weeks an amazing, beautiful and inspiring friend of mine is having a fundraiser to help raise money for breast cancer support. She has now done it for the last 10 YEARS raising thousands of dollars and she is not even 30 yet! I have been the last 3 years and it is always a highlight night of my year. This year will be the biggest to date and I promise you will enjoy yourself. For all the information, to donate or buy tickets check out Breast Cancer Fundraiser and at Breast Cancer Fundraiser Home Page to learn about her mission.
Another huge thanks to everyone who has been following my story. You guys truly inspire me and give me reason to beat this little monster in my head. He is persistent, but I am unrelenting.
“When life gives you 100 reasons to cry, show life a million reasons to smile.”
|Beautiful people on a beautiful day.
April 11, 2013 |
Well, quite a bit has happened since last time I posted a blog. Ive had some major changes and some minor ones as well. First off, I am happy to say Tasha and I have moved in together. We have been through a lot with all of this nonsense and I am convinced that there are not too many things left in this world that could tear us apart. This is the first time I have lived with a ‘significant other’ so I am kinda nervous, but excited! Darryl also moved in with us so I not only get to live with my girlfriend, but my best friend as well. This would have been the perfect set up 5 years ago back when we could stay up past 11pm, now if I am up past 10 I feel like I am going to turn into a pumpkin. We got a nice little condo on the Santa Ana / Tustin border and it suits us quite well. Moving while on treatment is not a fun thing to do, especially trying to fit a washing machine up a flight of stairs that had no more than 2 inches of play total. Needless to say that was an adventure.
Before this move went down, I somehow managed to get sick. I had (and still have) a terrible cold. For 4 days I was coughing, sneezing and wheezing up some fun phlegm and then on Easter Sunday I woke up running a fever. This is a problem when you have no immune system and a cold can turn into pneumonia in a couple hours… SO, off to the ER I went. After a substantial amount of time and countless tests later they gave me the all clear and sent me on my way to monitor it closely. Luckily the fever dropped that day and I was only left with a nasty cough which I am still trying to fight off. The combination of fighting this cold along with the delayed onset of the side effects of the radiation therapy I have had almost no energy to do anything these last 2 weeks. I am hoping this issue will pass because it has been extremely tough getting out of bed some mornings and I find myself napping quite a bit lately.
Fast forward to Tuesday, this marked the beginning of my third round of chemo. Initially I was under the assumption that I would not do another MRI until the end of April / early May and then on Saturday I got an e-mail from my coordinator at UCLA asking me to bring a copy of my MRI. This was an interesting revelation since I could not schedule an MRI over the weekend and I had to have it done before Tuesday. So Monday morning I was able to scramble and schedule an MRI in Irvine and get it done. I am so happy to say that the MRI came back “Great.” No new growth! This is an excellent step in the right direction and I like to think whatever I am doing is working. I was exceptionally nervous the entire time leading up to the MRI and I have to give a huge thanks to my father for driving me all over Southern California. We went from Anaheim to Santa Ana to Irvine to UCLA back to Anaheim then back to Santa Ana. I think altogether it was somewhere around 4 hours of driving. I was way too nervous to do all of that on my own and he helped out immensely.
Things have been going very well and I am so thankful for all the support from my all of you and I know the prayers and good wishes are helping so keep them coming!
Little Kings Foundation is getting closer and closer to launching it’s landing page. We will be accepting donations from day one and we have some special things in mind for people who donate from the inception, so stay posted!
“Isn’t it funny how by day nothing changes, but when yo look back everything is different?”
March 23, 2013 |
ago my life changed. I got a cal at work and my world got flipped, turned upside down. It is still strange and foreign to me and this battle is far from over, in fact it has just begun.
I have never been able to sit still, I don’t call it ADD because I have no problem focusing or paying attention, I simply always felt as if I was wasting my time by not doing anything. I sometimes have a hard time watching television shows because I feel like I am wasting time not being productive for myself or someone else, and this was before I was diagnosed. I also know that part of the reason I felt so wasteful in doing nothing was because I always knew I was meant for something, anything more than what I was in life. After I was diagnosed, this multiplied by about a thousand which is quite troublesome and contradictory to what every doctor suggests I do. They all want me to heal, not be active and stay in bed. There is a problem with this, because laying in bed now unless it is past 10pm or before 9am gives me anxiety. I am 99% sure I will beat this and be an exception, but in the back of my mind I CAN NOT deny what I am up against. I know the statistics, and I know that this will be a part of me for the rest of my life. I also know that what I have put into my body these last 3 months will almost certainly lead to an earlier death than anyone would hope for. I really had no choice in the matter and I accept that, but I am hoping and praying I still get at least another 30 years out of this thing we call life, but even that is not guaranteed.
Yesterday was the 5 month ‘anniversary’ from the day I found out I had tumor slightly larger than a golfball in my head. Yesterday was also supposed to be the last day of my second round of my chemo injection, until it was not. I drove out to UCLA, which after a nice detour and quick tour of South Central due to my fathers uncanny navigation skills led us astray for about 30 minutes turned out to be the longest drive to LA ever. We arrived at my doctor and I was already feeling quite drained, nauseated and weak. My nurse came in and said my blood work which I had done on Tuesday came back low and they wanted to re-test to see if it had gone back up in the past 4 days at all. Well after my 247th blood withdrawal the results came back far worse than they were on Tuesday. My white blood cells had dropped to under 1.5 and my total immune system counts were down to .7 where the .5 mark is the panic button. This is by far the lowest my counts have ever been and now I realized why I felt so terrible. I was told my counts were far too low to continue on the chemo and I needed a break. If I continue to trend downward, they would have to take counteractive measures to help boost my immune system back into shape and so, I am now BUBBLE BOY! I will re-test again on Monday to see where my counts are and I hope they start working their way back up because from what I hear about the counteraction methods they have to boost immune systems, they do not sound like fun.
This new ‘bubble boy’ lifestyle I will live for the next few days is not what I had planned for this weekend. I try my hardest to stay busy and productive with every second of every day and sitting around now more than ever makes me feel like I am literally wasting my life. On top of that, I can’t even exercise or do anything active because my body is fighting a major internal war and needs all the energy it can muster and there is absolutely no extra fuel in my body right now for external activity. I can not see friends and for the most part I feel like leaving my bedroom could be dangerous. (I now have a new understanding for people suffering from agoraphobia!)
No, this was not the news I wanted to hear and after all of the good things that have happened in the last month, this is just a minor setback and to be honest should have happened long ago. Most everyone faces this hurdle at some point during intense chemotherapy treatment and I was lucky to go as long as I did before having to deal with it. I will be just fine and I am certain that when I re-test on Monday I will be right as rain and back to my ‘normal’ life again. The only thing is they wanted to increase my chemotherapy dosage AGAIN and I can guarantee that will not happen. I am willing to do anything to beat this, but putting myself into a potentially life threatening state due to treatment seems kinda counter productive, right?
On a side note about The Little Kings Foundation:
We have been progressing steadily, but slowly. We want to figure out the best and most sustainable option for our foundation that will also allow us to be most productive and beneficial to our mission. We have been talking with lawyers, other similar foundations and countless people who have been of immense help to Ryan and myself. I am a grand optimist and I know that, I also know the reality of most non-profit foundations and the road that they usually lead down, but I think with all of your help and the amazing support of some amazing people- The Little Kings Foundation has the potential to be something very big. I hope one day it can be a platform to help every young adult facing a tough cancer live his or her life to the fullest. We have nearly nailed down our logo and things are moving along nicely. It is only a matter of time before we start our little part in something big and I hope you all will want to join us.
Have AN AMAZING WEEKEND!!!! Tell your friends you love them and compliment everyone who you encounter.
We can’t always change the world alone, but we can play our little part in something big and try like hell.
|Me and Iggy are gonne be BBEEESSSTTTTT friends for a couple days!
March 14, 2013 |
I have seen many people that I have not seen a very long time recently and yes I have cancer and yes I have lost weight. The reason I lost weight is because of the cancer, but not necessarily why you would think. Most cancer patients lose weight because they are too sick to eat or simply have no appetite. This is not the case for myself. My appetite has not changed since the day I was diagnosed and if anything, I am now taking in more calories than I ever have. The difference is I now know what I am eating. People change their diets for a myriad of reasons, I changed my diet to save my life.
My new diet consists of only the basics: I eat very lean meats (chicken, and bison meat preferred behind white fishes and tunas.) I eat AND juice vegetables only (no fruit at all since my specific cancer needs fructose to thrive and fructose is the natural sugar in fruit.) I get a lot of good fats in avocados, extra virgin olive oils, raw and salted nuts and ‘clean oil’ fried foods. (Extra virgin olive oil is the best for your body.) I now eat 4 or 5 times throughout the day instead of two or three big meals. (5 small meals so my body is always digesting as opposed to starting and stopping the process over and over.) I EAT NO SUGAR, I LIMIT MY CARB INTAKE TO UNDER 50 CARBS PER DAY (basically 2 pieces of bread and im done.) I DRINK ONLY ONE SMALL GLASS OF WHISKEY OR TEQUILA A WEEK, I DRINK NO BEER, I DRINK NO JUICE AND I NOW DRINK OVER 80 OUNCES OF ALKALINE WATER A DAY. I have a glass of hot peppermint or green tea when I need some flavor in my beverage and I am content.
This ‘diet’ is in fact not a diet at all. I am finally for the first time in my life eating perfectly healthy. I cut out all processed, gmo, preserved and pesticide filled foods and I have not sat in a drive thru since diagnosis. So yes, I have lost weight, but I am stronger now than I was before all of this. Internally I feel more healthy and vibrant than I ever have in my life. It was hard at first and sugar is addictive and going cold turkey and cutting out every form of sweet food in my life was rough for a bit, but now I enjoy veggies as opposed to brownies.
This is just a brief explanation of why I have lost weight, it is not the cancer eating away at me, it is not nausea that makes it impossible for me to keep food down… I simply changed my diet and my body now only has what it needs, no ‘crap.’
I can and will elaborate much more on this, because I think every person on earth should follow a similar type of ‘diet.’ It is healthy, clean and you get what you need and nothing you don’t. Many people think because they are vegan or vegetarian that their ‘diet’ is healthy, this is not always the case and in fact may vegetarians and vegans consume massive amounts of carbohydrates which turn into sugar and subsequently make you far less healthy.
So any girls, or guys that want to lose weight or simply want to be healthy stay tuned and I will explain to you all in great detail what it will take. I was never big to begin with and didn’t have a lot of weight to spare, so losing the little weight I did makes me look even more skinny. If you are a bit over weight and have a lot of weight to lose, I guarantee you that within a month you will lose a great deal of weight *IF YOU ARE STRICT AND PRECISE AS I AM. I do not cheat, and I try my hardest to stay under 50 grams of carbs, which is very very hard.
I just wanted to address this because over and over I have heard people comment on how skinny I look, I have always been self conscious about being tall, lanky and skinny and I sometimes would force myself to eat foods I knew were bad for me just cause I wanted to intake a million calories, I now know this is the complete opposite of what I should have been doing and this is my natural and healthy weight, before I was unhealthy and overweight.
If you want an easy step one in losing weight, cut out sugar completely. Force yourself to stop eating it and any food that has sugar in it. You will be shocked at how many foods you eat daily have copious amounts of sugar including all those juices you drink, and if you drink any type of soda and I don’t care which one it is or how sugar free or low calorie it is- STOP. NOW. You can have one final soda and that ends it. There is not a single benefit from drinking soda, it simply is flat out bad for you in every way shape and form. Drinking sodas and juices accounts for a huge portion of Americans sugar intakes and for the major companies, they use an artificial sweetener called high fructose corn syrup (HFCS.) This might as well be a slow setting glue in your blood that will eventually cause your blood to thicken. And thick blood=higher blood pressure…Higher blood pressure means slower circulation…Slower circulation means less oxygen being distributed to your vital body cells…Most all degenerative diseases need low oxygen, high acidic environments to thrive ..This leads to millions of problems on all different scales. You need to be afraid of sugar like you are afraid of dying. This is step one.
…to be contnued
Would you throw trash and garbage in your bedroom to sit and rot for a few months? If not than why would you throw trash into your body? You literally are what you eat, where do you think new cells are derived from? The source of their existence is what you feed them. Feed them crap and they will turn into crap. Think about it logically, not scientifically.
March 11, 2013 |
Today I had my first MRI post radiation and chemo. To say I was nervous would probably be an understatement. The hard part about all of this is not the treatment, the diagnosis, it is not the pain or any of the other million things that accompany cancer; the hard part is the waiting. The so called ‘limbo’ stage where I do not know too much one way or another. The anxiety that this causes is unreal and anyone who has or is going through cancer will tell you the same. The waiting game is the real torture. Once I have an answer, at least it is confirmed one way or another, until that answer is clear I still have to know that it can go either way and one of those directions is obviously a direction I am not hoping for. I sat in the little tunnel of claustrophobia for what seemed like an eternity and the entire time I visualized myself inside my brain leading an army of battle warriors against an army of evil. I visualized this battle taking place in the area of my tumor and it was not once sided. I know what is happening up there and we are losing some of the good guys, but I also am certain that with every loss of one of my soldiers we are taking out 20 of the bad guys. I did not picture a clean battle, but one of blood and massacre. A battle that mimics many of the worst I have studied in our worlds past and I am confident that the winning side will be my team and I will forever be grateful and appreciative for my new life.
Going forward is the start of another road, this road will be tough and filled with plenty of obstacles. I meet with my oncologist on Tuesday, she will go over my most recent MRI and I will hear what she has to say about it. As I said before, this is the first MRI post radiation and I am certain my brain probably resembles a piece of pie at this point so she wont be able to tell me too much. This MRI will become my new ‘baseline’ and a month from now will be the true test to see where this monster is headed. (Get it, ‘headed?’) After I meet with Emily I will shoot over to UCLA to start my next round of the trial drug I am currently on. This is the fun part, every injection feels like fire going into my body then I become immediately tired. After a nap I wake up with a fun rash and a couple days of swelling and I look like I am pregnant with a small alien in the side of my abdomen. The injection sites JUST finished healing a couple days ago and now I get to start alllllllllll over again! Ironically, I don’t even know if these are helping in the battle, but I am trying everything I possibly can so a little bit of pain is just part of the game. Tuesday will also mark the end of my ‘chemocation.’ I finished my initial marathon session of chemo which consisted of 45 days straight, minus a 3 day break when my blood counts dropped very low and Tuesday I will begin chemo again. This time the regimen will be a bit tougher though- I will be taking double the dosage of what I initially took, but only for 5 days straight. I will then be off chemo for 25 days, then back on for 5 days double dosage again. This will continue on for about a year or until they don’t think it is necessary anymore for one reason or another.
Like I said, it is going to be a tough road and I am not sure how my body will react to doubling the dosage of chemo that I initially took. I skated through my initial treatment and I hope that it is the same this time around, but only time will tell. Until then, please continue those happy thoughts, prayers, mental hugs and good vibes- I am all but sure they are helping!!!!!
Ryan and I are currently working extra hard to get the foundation up and running. We are working with some exceptionally talented and amazing people to help us set up the groundwork and I can not be more excited to launch it. We have some amazing ideas in the works and within the next few weeks we will be sharing a lot of information with everyone. I truly hope you all will help out with this new foundation as much as you have helped me through this journey. I KNOW that we can help a lot of people who need a lot of help. Changing people’s lives is an amazing feeling and having been the one in need of help for so long, now it is time for me to return the favor. Thank you everyone and stay tuned for some awesome things coming up, I promise you it will be fun and you will be changing lives.
There is no better feeling than to know you have changed a life for the better, to know that you have impacted someone in such a way that you have completely changed their life for the better. No amount of money nor material possessions will ever equal the feeling of inspiring someone.
|15 years later, still an amazing group of guys. CREDO
March 3, 2013 |
I have been hinting at some big news for the last few weeks now, and I am proud and utterly terrified to finally be able to say that with the help of Ryan Kalil and a few other astoundingly amazing people, we will be setting up a foundation to help young adults live their lives the way they want to. I have said since day one that I think the point of this life is to be happy and experience this world for all it has to offer. There is beauty everywhere and when I was diagnosed at such a young age I felt like my bucket list turned into a tea cup list in a second. I have been blessed to surround myself with such an amazing group of people that I was able to raise over $25,000 in less than 2 months. This is something that I can all but guarente 90% of the worlds population would never be able to do. This amount of money has given me a huge cushion and paid for all my medical bills up to this point. I want every young adult affected by a terminal diagnosis to be able to do what he or she wants. What I want to do now is help other people. This is what makes me happy and my network of friends has shown me how important it is to help someone in a time of need.
I am so thankful for everyones help, but now it is time to help others. I have more than enough money to cover my expenses and I am now devoting my time, energy and effort all to this foundation. I hope you all will continue to support me by supporting this foundation. I do not care to put anymore money into research or finding a cure. I have been tainted by the medical world through this experience and I find it extremely hard to wrap my head around the fact that after 50+ years of research they are still saying a cure is at least another 25+ years out. Cancer has literally become it’s own economy and if you truly sit back and think about the market that this illness has created you will see why maybe they are not in such a hurry to find a cure after all. Millions of jobs are created, billions of dollars are made and a lot of very influential and rich people would loose a lot of money if a cure was found. I am not a conspiracy theorist in the least, but come on… This is why I want to focus on the person suffering, not the huge corporations doing the “research” to find the cure. The cure will come one day when it does, the evil greedy doctors and pharmaceutical companies finally have to pay the piper and I can not wait to see those companies burn.
I have been meeting with people setting up the foundation and having paperwork expedited to get this up and running as fast as I can. This is now the sole focus of my existence and I know this will make me happy. The next few weeks will be full of meetings, setting up spaces, introducing more people and getting this snowball rolling. I hope over time this can turn into something that will help change the lives of every young adult affected by cancer!
It was quite ironic, last night Ryan was given the honor of accepting an award in Leadership from Servite High School. It was a grand celebration and testament to both Servite and Ryan. I met with him before the dinner and knowing Ryan’s large network I told him my thoughts. He immediately replied by saying he wanted to surprise me by starting a foundation for me! He had been planning on setting this up for the last month or so and wanted to help raise money for my bills. I gratefully and humbly declined anymore funding as I have stated I am financially secure as of now and said instead of me, lets get this going and help the thousands of other people out there that do not have the resources that we have. It was an amazing, emotional and extravagant dinner that was only topped by the outpouring of support, love, brotherhood and family that it is Servite High School’s community.
Going forward the next few weeks I will have more information and yes, this will be a 501c3 non-profit which means we will be able to issue tax deductions for donations! I am so excited and I hope you all are as well! More news to come very soon and have a great Sunday!!!!!!
|The man, the myth the legend. Ryan Kalil, aka Frank’s son.
|One of the coolest dudes I know, Matt Slater. (NFL pro-bowler the last 2 years… No big deal.)
“Find peace in happiness.”
February 27, 2013 |
To be honest I have no idea how this is going to play out 6 months, a year, 20 years, 40 years from now… What I do know is that brain cancer as of today has been the best thing that has happened to me. Yes it is hard as fuck and there are times where my body feels like it is rejecting itself from the inside out, but it is a small price to pay for inspiration. I just turned 28 and it took me that long for my life to begin. Up until now, I have been floating from stop-gap to stop-gap. I never had any direction and everyday I woke more and more frustrated with myself. I have surrounded myself with great people of all walks of life from CEO’s of multi-million dollar companies, professional athletes, inspiring philanthropists and humanitarians, amazing artists of all walks, and countless driven individuals with direction. I on the other hand have been passing time trying to figure out what the hell I am doing with my life. Going from job to job not knowing where I am headed, just knowing I need money to pay my bills. It is the most frustrating and depressing thing to KNOW that deep down you are meant for something much bigger than what you are doing. I knew I had a purpose and I spent countless hours trying to figure out where my place in the crazy world is an now I have my answer.
Today is day one of my new life. For the first time in a very long time I finally know where I want my life to end up. I have direction, purpose, inspiration, drive and motivation… The one thing I might not have is time and that in itself is even more motivation. I have never had a clear path nor a smidgen of an idea of what I wanted to do with my life. It is now clear as crystal where I want, no need my life to go. I have learned, grown, matured, and had countless epiphanies over that past 4+ months that I can no longer hide from my future. Going forward my life will consist of a few basic yet direct principles and missions. The top of this list is going to be being happy.
It is strange to me that I can say something as basic as the most important and guiding principle in my life going forward will be to be happy. I feel like everyone should live by this simple guideline, yet so many of us fall into lives that we truly don’t enjoy. Routine becomes habit and habit becomes familiar and familiar is safe. We like safe, we like security and people for the most part are afraid of things that are not guaranteed. I am at a point where I am not guaranteed too much other than right now and so this alleviates a lot of fear that most people let hold them back. As of today I have a new mission in life and that is to help people be happy. This is what makes me happy and with some help from you guys we can do this together and I think you will see why helping others live happy will make you happy.
I am in the process of setting some things up that will shape and direct my life going forward, there are going to be some major changes and step one was simplifying my life. I started this yesterday by literally cutting my possessions in half. I didn’t have too much stuff to begin with, but I had a lot of stuff that I didn’t need that maybe someone else can benefit from. I know all of you can do quite well doing this in your lives. I made a rule and stuck to it with the only exceptions being nostalgic memories. The rule was simple, if I hadn’t used it in the last 2 years, it was gone. After a couple hours, my bedroom was nearly empty including a completely empty dresser. I will be sharing the next few parts of my new life going forward in due time, and I will be calling upon some of you for your help. You have all helped me tremendously already, and I hope I have not yet worn out my welcome.
“Find happiness in simplicity, find chaos in greed.”
February 24, 2013 |
After another 2 week hiatus and I apologize. I have been exceptionally busy on the weekends and I have no internet access while I stay in LA aside from my phone. Today I finally get to give a full report on the event we had at Detroit Bar and my birthday weekend which was both hard and amazing. The third part of this post will be an explanation of my ‘new life.’ There are things that have been set in motion that are now trains and will become very hard to stop. To say this experience has changed my life is both cliche and an extreme understatement at the same time. So lets start with the event that was on 2/9.
HOLY SHIT. Thats all I can say about that. I am STILL utterly shocked, amazed, awed, inspired, motivated, grateful, moved and touched by ALL the support that was shown. There were close to 430 people who eventually passed through the doors of the place at one time or another. I was scared, absolutely petrified that it was going to be a waste of time and nobody would show and it was going to be a waste of everyones love and effort who helped organize it. I was wrong. Very wrong. The first good sign was when they put presale tickets up and nearly 150 were sold in less than a week! I showed up a bit late, I was having trouble finding a ride, but upon my arrival around 8:45 there was already A LINE of people in the parking lot waiting to get in. I was speechless and literally nearly cried. To see so many people who truly care about you and want to help you is the most moving thing I have ever experienced. I wish that everybody could have felt the feeling I had when I saw all of those people, it was unexplainable and it was amazing. I was told not to hug anyone and avoid people as much as I could- I didn’t listen. I hugged everyone I could find and I think I kissed a few too. I didn’t care, at that moment all I cared about was showing how much I appreciated EVERYONE who came out. The night was a HUGE success and the greatest testament to the people I surround myself with. There were people I hadn’t seen in close to 15 years who came from distances as far as Oregon just to be there. There were plenty of people I did not know, but everyone there knew me through someone I was friends with. I try my hardest to only surround myself with genuine and humble people… Well after Saturday night (and I think and you guys can agree who were there,) I might have the best group of friends in the world. There were drinks, there were laughs and even some tears, but when it was over and I was wellllllllll past my bed time I knew I was going to get through this with those people who were there that night standing strong right beside me. My blood counts were low and I was risking getting sick with every hug and every second I spent there, but I did not care one bit. I somehow knew I would be fine and I was. I woke up the next morning STILL trying to wrap my head around how little ‘ol Ryan could draw in a crowd of nearly 450 people- and then I realized it was all of you. The people in my life are epic, not me. You all make me who I am and help shape me as a person! I draw my inspiration from you all and it feeds my desire and determination to beat this monster (and that is exactly what I am currently doing!!!!!!)
I need to thank a few people again, and make sure you guys truly know how much I appreciate you all in my life. The people who were the organizers and purveyors of the event. Leah, Jessica, Anthony, Lindsay and my partner in crime Natashia. You guys were astounding and I still can’t figure out where half of the awesome prizes came from. You guys took the lead and made an astounding night of fun, entertainment and humanitarianism all in one. I honestly can never thank you guys enough, but I will most certainly try. I love you all like a fat kid loves cake!!
To everyone who donated things, you guys made this even possible and made spending a little bit of money even more worth it. Without your donations (and this list is huuuuuuge) we would not have raised nearly as much as we did! I hope one day you all will one day depend on me for something and allow me to repay you in some way. I love you all like Willy Wonka Loves chocolate.
To the bands, David and the DJ- You guys simply fucking rock. Period. I now have 3 new favorite bands and I am pretty sure I believe in magic now… EVERYONE needs to check out Restavrant Restavrant’s Facebook!, RT N the 44′s RT N the 44′s Facebook Page and Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Freak Show Dano Forte’s Juke Joint Freak Show Facebook! and if you see wanna see some legit magic, do yourself and check out David Bonfadini at David Bonfadini the epic magician! – how many MAGICIANS do you know that are sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink?? Well now you know one.
And thank you to Detroit for allowing us to rough up your bar a little and hopefully not leave it too worse for the wear. Detroit bar is an awesome place for GREAT music and I can say I have stumbled into there on more than a few occasions and come out with a new band obsession. They are constantly booking great bands that rock the place and most any day of the week you can find some good tunes with stiff drinks.
Thanks to everyone who helped out in anyway! There were probably another 30 people who helped with the photos, selling, organizing, raffle, and countless other things. You all know who you are and I thank you and tip my hat to you all. I love you all like a dog loves his bone.
The night was a huge success and we raised around $12,000.00. Thats right, our little group of friends in one small area of Orange County was able to rally together and raise over $12,000.00. This is just the beginning of what is to come. Like I said, this has changed my life in more ways than I could ever explain and going forward I plan on helping to change other people’s lives with all of your help. I will tell you more about that at a later date, right now I want you all to realize what you did. You helped save a life. You all gave me another shot at LIVING, the most basic and important part of life is to be alive and now I feel like I have a future that wont be littered with 100k in medical bills swamping me and not ever being able to get out of debt. For all of you, I like to think this was no sweat off your back and I hope you had as much fun as I did. Think about that, you were able to change someone’s life while having a great time, meeting new people, re-aquatinting old friends and seeing some awesome bands. Who would have thought changing someone’s life was as easy as a typical Friday night out with friends?!?! Just sayin…
Thanks again for that epic night and you all are the true heroes.
My birthday! The day I turned 28. For a second there wasn’t sure if I was going to make it, but here we are! We initially planned on going out on Saturday, but unfortunately my body had other ideas. I had an early morning appointment of chelation therapy to help clean my blood which put me on my ASS for the duration of the day. I could neither keep my eyes open long enough, nor eat a smidgen so my actual birthday was spent on a couch. BUT, the following day I was not going to let this hold me back. I woke up feeling equally as terrible, but I did not care. I forced and willed myself to feel better and after a while I was. A group of astounding friends and I ate an awesome dinner at True Foods in Fashion Island. This is an amazing restaurant which serves natural, organic and fresh food at the most reasonable prices imaginable. They have juices that are nearly irresistible and torture for someone who is no longer allowed to eat fruit since fruit sugar is my ultimate enemy at the moment! We laughed, ate and had our own little private room. It was great to be with friends I care about and not being on a couch was like euphoria to me! Thank you to all of my friends who came out, and even those who were over an hour late (no names . It was truly the most memorable birthday I have EVER had, I will never forget that night, our drinks at Muldoons, the laughs and the company. You guys became a part of my life that will live on in my memory as long as my radiated and infected brain will retain the thought. xo
Check the link below for an awesome array of photos thanks to the epically talented Leanna! If you EVER need an amazing photographer check her out at Leanna Jean Photo
Pictures from the show!!!!
If you were at the show, you know I had a little ‘speech’ I wrote out which I ended up no being able to read at all. Well here it is if you are still interested
+It is going to be extremely hard to not be overly cliche and predictable in situations like these, but I’m going to try.
I have been through a lot in the past few months and I’ve seen a lot in this life, good bad beautiful horrific Inspiring and everything in between. My time in africa showed me just how desolate and absolutely brutal life can be and my time with my friends and family doing amazing things has showed me how beautiful, awesome and utterly astonishing life can be. I’m now in a new group, the so called cancer family. The one family that not a single person in their right mind wants to be a part of. I didn’t chose this, but if it was between me and any of you I would bear this burden 1000 times over. For me, seeing the ones I love suffer is far more painful than going through it myself. I see children, CHILDREN a fifth of my age going through treatment. They are battered, bruised and some you can tell just wont make it. But they fight. They fight like they are trained and experienced veterans of life and all it has to offer. Seeing things up close will change your perspective on life. It is one thing seeing a TV commercial or hearing about people that are in need, but seeing it in your face will change you, I guarantee.
We all base our lives on perspective. It is impossible to deny this and to what degree each person does this is largely based on what they have experienced. To be more clear, you all feel bad for me and that is amazing and I can not thank you all enough, but there are people far more worse off than I. I ask you all to do what you are doing now. You are helping me in a way you will never really know and I can’t ever explain, but I ask you to continue on. There are so many amazing organizations, hospitals and non profits and PEOPLE that need endless amounts of help. I don’t care what it is, where it is or how often you do it. Just help others! If you think you have the strength go to a children’s hospital and volunteer, do it. It will only take you a second to understand why I say if you think you are strong enough. If that does not change your perspective and appreciation for life, you probably should check for a pulse. This, us here now is a testament to the power of the human spirit and our will and desire to help others in need. Maybe this is your first fund raiser maybe it’s your 100th. Either way you now see just how easy it is to change a life… TO help save a life. If its your first, I hope this is a catalyst for you to start doing your part for the rest of the people who need a little help. If it is your 100th, keep going. I honestly can not thank you all enough and I never will be able to, but what I promise is that I will fight with all that I have. I will exhaust every option and be a force for change. You are all on the winning team now, and I hope you continue on this journey with me and allow me to one day repay you all.
If you read my blog you know I usually end with a quote that I find funny or relate to what I talk about. I have tried my hardest to keep religion out of this because I neither want to offend or stray people in one way or another, but I think this quote by one of the greatest warriors and leaders the world has ever known is un biased and relative to a life worth living.
Marcus arelius said, “Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are Gods, but unjust, you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone.. but you will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”
|The Birthday Crew!
Stay tuned, next week I will be sharing some fun and exciting things!!