Sunday, June 7, 2009
OMG was amazing
OMG! I forgot, rather I didn't have time to post about the OMG Young Adult Cancer Summit.
Recapping: this was probably the craziest most insane way to pack everything possible into one weekend I have EVER had in my LIFE. And in 2 wks I'm going to be moving so go figure...
Slow down? Ha...not likely.
BTW...Happy belated National Cancer Survivors Day.
I didn't get to Syracuse till way later than I planned Friday. I will spare you all the minute details of the car adventure...I killed my battery by leaving my lights on...my car died. Challenges challenges. As you might know already, due to a slight error my sister's family bridal shower was arranged on the same day/same time as the OMG Syracuse. Most of you who know me know that OMG was 8 months of planning-- for those on the committee especially Dan, Carrie, Matthew and I it was almost like like planning a wedding. With last year under our belt, we had learned a lot but still...8 months.
Anyway---needless to say, you can imagine the tough choice I had between OMG and my sister's other shower. Pick one? NO--way. Leah decided to do both.
When I swung just in time into the Palace Theatre everyone was already there and things were in full swing. I was able to ever so briefly chat with Erin Zammett Ruddy, our guest speaker and super cool Glamour Magazine rock star. But I was really sad that in my rushing across town mode we didn't get to talk more. I was frazzled and late and really would have done better with down time prior. Erin, if you're reading this I hope we will cross paths again very soon.
Alright, so here is the deal about the second annual OMG Young Adult Cancer Summit.
It was amazing. Okay, so already the thunder was stolen...NYC had BNL performing. How do you compete with that? But what transpired in Syracuse NY was something wholly amazing, something pallpable...smaller in scale, but from where I stood it was an intimate sense of community that stretched beyond town, city, and county lines.
New Yorkers have always been categorized by the city of Manhattan. It is plausable that the great state of New York is seen by many outsiders as purely of an outcrop of Manhattan. Not so. Upstate--I've been asked to define---to specify. But the diverse communities and the various stretches between town to town, city to city are a community that was tied together yesterday. There were young survivors from Syracuse, Rochester (most of us), Buffalo, Ithaca, Corning, Albany. Sure most NYC survivors could hop on the subway...but there were people who travelled 2, 3, 4, 5 hours to attend. And Aaron Spicer from Ohio wins a special award for a 6 hour journey he made with great delight (and sacrifice).
Watching people look around the room and see (perhaps for the first time) others their own age walking the very same journey-- connecting and relating. On so many levels it was empowering beyond any coherent definition.
My energy could not equal my enthusiasm. This day--this weekend-- filled my heart!
Erin told us her inspiring story of surviving to be a MOM against all possible odds. Erin IS a pioneer. GO Erin!
I tried to upload the video I have of part of her speech but I experienced technical failure. I will get that up as soon as I figure out what went wrong. Sorry!
Then at the end of the Summit an amazing band, THE ACTION cranked up the ska...trumpet blaring, people unwinding, drinking, mingling, eating the delicious appetizers. Perhaps to some it seemed like a big party. It was.
YOU HAD TO BE THERE...
But because you weren't-- I'm gonna just give you the images...and hope you'll understand...somewhat.
with iy YALC Pres. and most dedicated Summit traveller, Ohio's Aaron Spicer
With Stupid Cancer Guru Matthew Zachary ( who appears to be my Siamese twin? ha ha)
Three amazing brain cancer survivors show who got busy living
With Thomas Waters... St. Bonaventure student, survivor and advocate extraordinaire! The T-shirt pic. Minus quite a few...but a smattering of the gang... After some shenanigans and complicated logistics...15 of us grabbed dinner!
I'll say it again...life is like a sandwich...
enjoy the big bites!