On The Wings Of Children and Angels
Listening to Malcolm Gladwell read his excellent David & Goliath as I drove to Charlotte gave me a renewed sense of how my life exists thanks to children. First time I sensed how much was owed to children unlucky enough to have #leukemia at a time we DIDN'T cure more than 80% of childhood leukemias was reading The Emperor of all Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee.

Mukherjee's book shares the sense of frustration and helplessness doctors and families felt battling a dragon (childhood leukemia) with Popsicle sticks. Leukemia is a blood cancer. The advantage of blood #cancers is they live by a strange, deadly but predictable math.

My +UNC Lineberger team, led by Dr. Hank van Deventer, used a predictive model so I could ride a bicycle across America (http://www.MatinsRide.com). Their predictions were so precise chemo was needed within a week after finishing our 3,300 mile bicycle ride (summer 2010). We have chemo thanks to leukemia's predictable path.

Tumors aren't nearly as predictable. It would have been hard to "fruit fly" the data needed to know chemo's benefits with come back maybe / maybe not unpredictable tumors. Gladwell's David and Goliath shares how Dr. Jay Freireic created the first chemo "cocktail" battling a prevailing thinking that said, "There is no cure, they (children with leukemia) are going to die anyway so let them die with dignity".

Dr. Freireic is an unreasonable man. He is the kind of unreasonable man  that creates any and all progress including the #cureforcancer . Dr. Freireic persisted, insisted and fought on until childhood leukemias, once a sure terminal condition, now are MOSTLY cured. 

Certainly, and Gladwell's book tells this story conclusively, these doctors and #cancerresearchers are #heroes . But I'm here typing this today because of children. If you are feeling BAD about your life I suggest you ask my friend Eli to show you around the children's oncology ward at +UNC Lineberger. You can't stay depressed or feel down for very long.

Children are children whether they have cancer or not. Watching children play with IVs has to be one of the most inspirational things I've ever seen. We will dedicate much of our #techcurescancer Fund to reach BACK and remember the inspiration of the angels who helped create #chemotherapy and so deserve to be partnered in credit for my being here typing this, for our (cancer survivors) being here now.

Our family's goal is to share $1M with the Tech Cures Cancer Fund we've set up with UNC Lineberger (look for it on the bottom of the Please Select A Fund donation drop down menu). My goal is to raise money to match my family's contribution $4 to $1 over the next three years developing a $5M fund to create the next generation of life saving and cancer curing #technology .

YES, we want to share the cool #tech and the real heroes developing and using it, but remembering the children who helped make my life and every #cancersurvivor 's life possible is content we will not forget. There is no way to REPAY such life saving generosity, lion sized courage or the inspiration every child represents, but we are sure as heck going to try.

If you are a parent of a child battling cancer today our thoughts and best wishes are with you. You've joined a special "club" we wouldn't wish on anyone but are glad you are here with us now.

If your child or a child you know helped create the miracle drugs I and every cancer survivor count on now THANK YOU. You and your loved ones are with us. Each day we have NOW is testimony to the magic spirit your loved one possessed, a spirit we will never know but one we FEEL every day. Thank You.

There is a reason we selected the beautiful girl below to represent our Story of Cancer Foundation and we may use her again as we develop the Tech Cures Cancer movement. We KNOW our lives have been saved by angels, by special angels we remember with every breath we take, word we write and thought we have.

Thank You.

Working on Tech Cures Cancer blog this weekend and hope to be live next week. Tech Cures cancer will use our #contentmarketing tool called Curagami thus marrying two things I care about :). If you know of an amazing angel whose courage inspires and motivates please share his, her or their story. Together we cure cancer in OUR lifetime.

I write that last sentence frequently. You might think I mean my lifetime. I don't. How did Dr. King say it, "I may not get there with you, but we as a people will see the promised land". Together we as a people will cure cancer and technology will be how. "Our lifetime," like the web, always happens NOW :).

Look for Tech Cures Cancer soon and hope you will join team that already includes some amazing people, institutions and champions: +Curagami, +UNC Lineberger, our partners +MoondashAudiodotcom, +Vestique and supporters such as +Janet Kennedy +Mark Traphagen +Isaac Porter, MD +Bill Gassett  +jan gordon +Phil Buckley +Jarrod Swart +Duke Cancer Institute +Roswell Park (mentioned in Gladwell's book) +UW Carbone Cancer Center +Neil Ferree +Kelly Hungerford +Paper.li +Scoop.it +Guillaume Decugis +Ally Greer +Haiku Deck +Command Partners +Alison Phalen +Heather King +John Kean +Eric Garrison +Brian Yanish   
+Cendrine Marrouat +Chris Heivly +Dave Neal +Triangle StartUp Factory and many, many more :).



Martin Smith
Cancer Survivor
Founder, +Curagami
Creator along with my family of Tech Cures Cancer Fund at UNC Lineberger Cancer Center

Select Tech Cures Cancer Fund from Please Select A Fund menu.
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