Thursday, April 10, 2014
The Riley Family, Part III
That's Mike and Lisa, hanging out at the hospital. Mike's in his awesome cookie monster pajamas and robe...must be nice, right? Oh wait, it's not. You probably remember why he's there, Stage 3 cancer. The joys.
In October, we helped to send the entire family to Game 5 of the World Series (Cards lost, thanks Red Sox for ruining their night).
In November I started a GoFundMe campaign, to date, with your help, we've raised $10,999. We've paid over 9 thousand dollars to the Riley family (another check to be cut shortly).
In December, Mike had surgery. Details can be found here. Shorter: things went fairly well, then they didn't. Mike spent 22 days in the hospital and lost 40 lbs. He missed Christmas and New Years at home with his family. But, as I've learned over the last 6 months, the Riley family really knows how to take things in stride.
About 6 weeks ago Mike started round 2 of chemo, he's halfway through that one now. He complains (daily, ugh) about numbness, dizziness, feeling cold (he lives in St. Louis, are you sure it's not the weather?), and priapism (that's a lie...I hope).
Mike being Mike though, barely a complaint (I'll let you figure out where I'm telling a lie).
Four weeks ago, a chilly (65) Saturday night, Mike and Lisa call. "Hey, I've got some news for you."
"Sweet," I think to myself. Gotta be good news.
"Lisa was just diagnosed with breast cancer."
ARE YOU KIDDING ME? (Given Mike's gallows humor, it's possible).
"Nope. Stage 1. Surgery on April 2nd."
(Surgery was last week. It went well. No news on that front yet.)
Talking to them two of them that evening you would have no idea they BOTH have cancer. Actually, one of my favorite stories of the year...the hashtag for Riley Family campaign was #fmcuta. Fuck Mike's Cancer (up the ass). I thought that was hilarious, but I didn't think the Riley's would appreciate it. They did. They loved it. I still remember Lisa's laugh when I first suggested it. They've dropped the latest bad news and Lisa is like, "Oh, wait until you hear this. I have a hashtag for you."
"What is it?" (I'm thinking something very...conservative. Not sure why, I should know better by now).
I think about that for about .06 seconds. Holy shit! Did you just say tna? Like "tits and ass?"
(sounds of Lisa howling in the background).
Awesome. See what I mean? Handling it in stride.
"We're going to need a bigger boat." All I can think about now is, "what can we do now?"
First, I raised the campaign goal to 50k. This might be ambitious, that's OK, cancer treatments are expensive enough for one person, and 10K (the original amount) was on the low side. So...50K.
Second, Scott Spendolini created a very cool APEX app, ostensibly called the Riley Support Group (website? gah). It's a calendar/scheduling app that allows friends and family coordinate things like meals, young human (children) care and other things that most of us probably take for granted. Pretty cool stuff. For instance, Tim Gorman provides pizza on Monday nights (Dinner from pizza hut...1 - large hand-tossed cheese lovers, 1 - large thin-crispy pepperoni, 1 - 4xpepperoni rolls, 1 - cheesesticks).
Third. There is no third.
So many of you have donated your hard earned cash to the Riley family, they are incredibly humbled by, and grateful for, everyone's generosity. They aren't out of the woods yet. Donate more. Please. If you can't donate, see if there's something you can help out with (hit me up for details, Tim lives in CO, he's not really close). If you can't do either of those things, send them your prayers or your good thoughts. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated.