In the late 1960s my grandfather moved to Toronto from a small town in India. He left his job, friends, family, and everything familiar to him behind to build a better life for his family. He taught high school math by day and worked at a box factory by night. He brought his family to Canada, put both of his children through college and medical school, and took on leadership positions within his school district.
My grandmother has told me very poignantly that my grandfather's cancer diagnosis came just when it was time for them to start enjoying the life that they had built - just as my grandfather was getting ready to retire and enjoy time with their children and grandchildren. He successfully fought off his cancer, went into remission, and started teaching part time again. And then the cancer came back, and came back strong. We lost him before he could see his son start his own business and before he could see his grandchildren graduate from college - or elementary school for that matter.
Because of cancer, there are so many days filled with math tutoring sessions, first jobs, smiles at graduation ceremonies, and trick candles on birthday cakes that we did not get to share with him. Days that wouldn't have happened without the leap of faith that he took decades before.
So, this is a very personal and important issue to me and my family. I'm incredibly proud to work at an organization where thousands of physicians and scientists come together every day to solve tomorrow's most pressing medical problems, including cancer. Especially cancer.
VeloSano has raised over $8 million for cancer research at Cleveland Clinic over the past three years; every single cent raised has gone to cancer research, not to overhead, marketing, or administrative costs. This year we have set a lofty goal of raising $4 million for this important work, because this is an issue that we can tackle together.
With less than 60 days until VeloSano weekend, I hope you'll consider supporting this important work.
(By the way, this is me and my grandfather at my first birthday party. He is in remission in this photo. It's one of my favorite photos of the two of us.)