Sunday, September 26, 2010

Run, Kenny, Run

Last year at the end of October, I received a phone call from my cousin Amir in the Dallas area. He told me he was about to tell me something and I couldn't under any circumstances share it with anyone until the news was ready to be passed around. Sounded bad, and I was right.

You see, the previous year I had shared with him some bad news that I told him he couldn't share with anyone until the news was ready to be spread. I had told him and his soon to be wife (at the time) about my mom's battle and ongoing surgery schedule with Acoustic Neuroma. My mom wasn't ready to tell anyone about it, but Amir is a person I had trusted with conversations and information for a long long time.

So after a few somber moments of talking, Amir proceeded to tell me that his dad (my uncle) has Pancreatic Cancer. Mind you, this is around the same time the news was concentrating on this deadly form of cancer, because Patrick Swayze was dying of it... so I knew the outcome. I quickly jumped on the internet, looked up the treatment for it, chance of survival, etc. Needless to say, I was almost in tears once I learned almost 95% of the people diagnosed do not survive past 5 years.

A few days after the phone call, my uncle Kenny went into surgery. I remember texting Amir all day back and forth asking how everything was going. I was as worried as anyone else was, and I had nobody but Thao to share this with since I had promised Amir I wouldn't say anything until his dad was ready to reveal it himself. After surgery, recovery, came the reveal. The cancer was benign and it was positioned in such a place on his pancreas that it had not entered his blood stream. Needless to say, he was about to become one of the 5% who survive this rather than becoming a statistic. My uncle has always been a fighter and he's an example to many, including myself. I call him randomly for guidance and sometimes just to say hi, give him good news, or tell him how we're doing. It would be hard for me to not have him around. very hard.

A few monts back, he emailed my family and I about a run that was coming up that benefited Pancreatic Cancer in Austin he was going to participate in. Being the forgetful person, I didn't see or read the email until it was too late... but fear not, my brother Fred made sure I remembered. I was supposed to have a client meeting in Austin today (which canceled) but I went up there anyway for the Purple Stride Austin Run/Walk.

My uncle didn't know I was coming, and he didn't know I was planning on taking pictures for him. After all, its the smallest thing I could do to show how much I care. So on Saturday morning, Fred and I woke up at the butt crack of dawn and headed to the Hill Country Galleria in Austin for the run. Here are the pictures I took of the run and the day.

Please look at the pictures and leave my uncle some comments to remind him how big of a battle he's battling, and looks like he's winning. I'm proud to have him as a family member and to call him my uncle.

Kenny, this post is for you! hope you enjoy it.










These purple roses were given to the handful of survivors among the 1,100+ crowd. Unfortunately, my uncle missed this part. why, you ask? Well, natured called and he was in the bathroom.




















KJ said...

Ben – your photos (as usual) are absolutely beautiful and I’m sure your Uncle was thrilled to have you document this monumental day for him. .
To Ben’s Uncle Kenny – It’s so amazing to hear a story about someone who is having more success beating this disease than most people. My father courageously battled this disease for a long 6 months & reading about your story on his birthday was a special treat. Congratulations on completing the Purple Stride Run/Walk and I pray that you will enjoy completing MANY more.

Sean Wray said...

Kenny - Congratulations you indeed are one of few survivors. Ben - congratulations to you too and thanks for supporting the cause. Wendy's dad passed from Pancreatic cancer. It is a terrible form of cancer. Keep calling your uncle, for him and for you.