Thursday, July 21, 2011

2010 LiveSTRONG Young Adult Alliance Conference

I can finally catch my breath. Got back last night from an epic trip to Austin, Texas and then Chicago, Illinois. I'm now taking a break... but not for too long... already thinking about mAss Kickers Foundation (MKF) stuff for next year! Things with MKF are starting to get very serious and I'm starting to gain credibility in the Physical Therapy community. I got to represent mAss Kickers Foundation at the LiveStrong Young Adult Alliance meeting in Austin a couple weeks ago. Then I had the opportunity to speak at Rehab Grand Rounds at Rush Hospital in Chicago. My buddy Blayde Carrol, a fellow brain tumor survivor, helped me out in Austin. I was telling him mAss Kickers Foundation is still on the "JV team". Soon we will be ready to "move up to varsity". I'm still laying the ground work for MKF to make a big splash in the survivorship community. I'm working on a way to combine: survivorship, research, advocacy, and physical therapy/rehab. I've got a a pretty good idea... just have to work on the details. I've made some great contacts there. Organizations like i2y, First Descents, Imerman Angels, MyLifeLine, Chasing Rainbows Productions, The Ability Center, Ulman Cancer Fund, Rise Above It, Tamika and Friends, Movember, and SeventyK are already doing some great things. I consider them to be "varsity" organizations. mAss Kickers Foundation (MKF) is almost ready to make the jump from "junior varsity" to "varsity". Things are getting much more serious now. I'll admit I was screwing around before. I will be much more serious now. We will be addressing a need in unifying ALL types of tumors because everyone with cancer has a tumor, but not everyone with a tumor has cancer. Since my tumor was "benign", I didn't officially have cancer. I related more to the young adult cancer survivors than I did to the typically older brain tumor demographic. When I was diagnosed I didn't know any young adult brain tumor survivors. I have always been a little different from everyone, so it didn't bother me that much. (OK, maybe all the initial "babying" kinda bothered me.) Anyways, I am so glad to have finally found a group of survivors who are similar to me. We still stick out, but at least we will stick out together. This is the perfect opportunity to cause a "ruckus"! That is what the "TUMORS SUCK!" campaign is meant to do... Anyways, MKF made some great new connections in Austin. I kinda wish I had more time to mingle with some of the other organizations there! They unveiled a new awareness campaign called "BREAK CANCER". It is essentially a way to break silly world records. Hee hee, I know some pretty creative people so it will be fun recording some of the stuff we do... Anyways, it was great seeing familiar faces in Austin. I had the scooter with me so I tried my best to stay out of trouble. I tried to behave myself, but I think I did run some people over... :D I can't be good all the time! Anyways, it was a great time in Austin! I look forward to next year! From Austin, I flew directly to Chicago for Rehab Grand Rounds at Rush Hospital. I forgot how much I love the Windy City! To be continued...

*originally published on Nov 15, 2010 @ 17:25

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