I was up at the Grand Canyon this last weekend (supporting my buddy, Jim, with a goal he set to hike the Canyon from the South Rim to the Colorado River, and back), and met the most amazing woman while I was enjoying the sunrise!
I had just dropped Jim off at the Bright Angel Trail Head, and was hanging out outside the Bright Angel Lodge, watching the sun come up, and enjoying the view when a woman named Elizabeth asked me if I was scared to be sitting on the edge of the canyon on the rock wall. I joked, “Nah, this wall has been here at least 75 years…it should be fine!”, and with one smart ass comment, we started a deep discussion.
Turns out, Elizabeth is dying of ovarian cancer, and she is on what may perhaps be her last trip of her life. She visited her OB/GYN regularly, was healthy, got regular Physicals, and yet was still not quickly diagnosed with what ended up being a 10cm tumor. 🙁 How horrible that must have been, to get that news! She was extremely matter-of-fact about it, and was able to share what a lot of people may not have been open enough to share…including how she’s been feeling, how scared she was, and how nothing else mattered, aside from her taking this road trip, as what may end up being a last-ditch effort to live her passions. She’s from the East Coast, and decided to take this trip across the US, by renting a car (her car was not going to make it…) and making it happen with a VERY limited budget. She’s on her way to Santa Monica, CA, and then back to the East Coast to begin chemotherapy.
One of the things we talked about was how many of our family, friends, and neighbors, wouldn’t take a trip like this, until they had a rude awakening like being diagnosed with cancer. We talked about how a major turn of events helps to “distill” the things we’re passionate about into a real plan, whereas before it was just a “some-a-day” thing. How odd that we’re taught, in our society, to work, work, work, work, work our way to death, and wait around for a 2 week vacation to race across the State (or a few States) to spend a little time doing something OTHER than work, for a short period each year. We’re not taught to do “mini-retirements” like Timothy Ferriss talks about in his book “The Four Hour Workweek” or to automate our businesses like Michael Gerber talks about in “The E-Myth”. Quite the opposite, actually.
I’m going to post a link to Elizabeth’s blog here: www.RelateToCancer.com and if you’d like to help KOR meet our goal of raising $500 to help her fund her shoestring-budget trip back home to start chemotherapy, here’s a link to donate: http://www.cancersupportfoundation.org/contribute (put ‘Elizabeth Alraune’ in the “Designation” field).
After donating, my question for you today, is this: “Are you living like you’re dying, or are you dying while you’re living?”
Thank you so much for being so generous! -Kevin