Dear Family and Friends,
I hope that you and your family members are safe and well during this difficult time in our lives. Navigating the year so far has been difficult, but the uncertainties and day to day changes feel oddly familiar…
It was twelve years ago today that I underwent my first brain surgery for the removal of my tumor, but yet, it still feels like yesterday. I remember the ride from my eye doctor to the hospital. I remember the feeling of surprise upon hearing how large the mass was and the shock and awe of the doctors and nurses examining me. I can remember the night before surgery, laying in the hospital bed and preparing myself mentally. In that moment, erased were the days of being young and carefree. Instead, I had to grow up in an instant. I had no time to process the news I had just heard or contemplate the what-ifs. On July 2, 2008, the course of my life changed forever, but proudly, I know this was for the better and I owe that to each of you.
As I sit here today, I look at the story of my life and career to this point. Growing up, I never really knew what I wanted to do, but I ultimately decided to pursue law because I knew I wanted to help people and do my part to effect change. At the age of sixteen, I landed my first job with a well-known Connecticut law firm and worked there for the next sixteen years until I ultimately listened to my heart and decided to help people in a different way.
Executing the business of the CTBTA is extremely rewarding and humbling, yet it presents so many challenges, especially now as I manage a nonprofit during a global pandemic. We have been impacted financially and emotionally, like everyone, but yet, brain tumor diagnoses have not stopped. Patients still need surgery, perhaps followed by radiation and/or chemo. Some of these patients have been required to put those treatments on hold due to the risk of Covid-19 in the hospitals, while some are experiencing the isolation and enhanced PTSD as a side effect of the social distancing guidelines and anxiety about catching the virus. Support and grief groups have turned into virtual Zoom calls, both lacking that critical personal, human element. Difficult work, to say the least.
Nevertheless, the CTBTA has been hard at work, brainstorming ideas and holding out hope that our events will offer some in-person components. I am constantly humbled by the generosity of the community, and wish I had additional volunteer opportunities for each of you. So many of you have been tremendously supportive since day one, and now, more than ever, we need additional help to support our programs and our quest to advance treatments and find the cure. Thanks to you, I am here, paying it forward and so I offer to you the chance to join me once more.
Should you wish to donate and support our mission, please visit here. While we understand the financial stress upon us all, every dollar helps and your support will make an immeasurable difference in the life of a patient and their family.
Twelve years ago, there were no guarantees or promises made – it was “just survive.” By now, you know my quote: “Adversity. We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
Here we are, once more, needing to adjust the sails. I am steadfast in my belief that we will, thanks to friends such as you.
Thank you for standing by me, supporting me and cheering me on over these past twelve years. I owe it all to you.
Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.
All my best,