Category Archives: cancer

At age 11 and fighting cancer, Wayne taught me how to live

Original version published in July 2013. Wayne died Dec, 2, 2010. Watching a child die should slap us in the face, provide some perspective as to what’s really important and how we should live our lives. That’s what my little … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, children's hospital | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Free smiles for volunteers at 5K fundraiser

This is the fourth year I’ve volunteered at Paige’s Butterfly Run, a 5-kilometer run in Syracuse that benefits children (and their families) receiving care at Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital. The run is named for Paige Arnold, an 8-year-old who died of … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, children's hospital, Irish Investigations, running | Tagged , , , , | 21 Comments

Taco-loving identity thief delayed donation to cancer research

The more I think about this, the more pissed I get. Last week one of my sons went online to donate to cancer research, but somehow his credit card number had been stolen. Fortunately, Visa froze his card and it … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, crime, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The driving force behind St. Baldrick’s success in Syracuse

It takes thousands of volunteers and donors to raise almost $500,000 for pediatric cancer research at one event. It also takes one hell of a master of ceremonies to pull it off. Meet Charles “Chow” Downey. He presides over the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraiser … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Irish Investigations | Tagged , , , , , , | 17 Comments

‘Kicked the bucket’ and other colorful obituaries

I confess I’m a regular reader of the obit page. When I come across someone whose formal obituary uses a phrase like “kicked the bucket,” I have to read it. This happened today, and it provides another example of the … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Irish Investigations | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

‘The Last Waltz’ and other Thanksgiving rituals snuck up on me

It’s scary sometimes how the mind works. Mine, anyway. When Michelle came home from work the other night carrying cameras, backpacks and other tools of the photography trade, I greeted her at the door with, “Take a load off!” It’s not … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, family, Irish Investigations, music, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

November arrives, bag and baggage — and then some

November showed up at the front door this morning, and I had to let it in. This year it brought more crap than usual. There’s the traditional baggage, of course — gray skies … more darkness … the furnace kicking on … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, children's hospital, family, Irish Investigations, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Syracuse, NY, may require downtown employees to smoke

Frustrated by efforts to quell an increase in cigarette smoking by downtown workers, the city of Syracuse, NY, is considering a radical response. City officials have drafted an ordinance that would require all employees who work downtown to smoke outside during their breaks. … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Irish Investigations, role models, running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

When ‘thoughts and prayers’ don’t seem to be enough

It took three tries, but I finally came up with some words of sympathy for a family that lost a wife and mother to cancer at age 54. I hadn’t seen any of the family for a few years, as … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, communication, family, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Balloons sent to heaven for ‘Ms. Toots’ on her 2nd birthday

“Ms. Toots” would have smiled and blown kisses to everybody who came to honor her on her second birthday Wednesday. Arie Baugh lost her fight with kidney cancer in July, two months shy of turning 2 years old. Arie’s mom … Continue reading

Posted in cancer, Children, children's hospital, family, Irish Investigations, Volunteering | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments