Archive for the ‘Cancer’ Category


One person can make a difference.

October 22, 2010

I try not to be skeptical, however I am quick to break everything down to a realistic and rationale perspective. So when I hear people talk about how one person can change the world, I tend to struggle with that comment.

I was asked recently by a fellow BSU Delt, Steve Roseman, to sit on the board of The Paul Fangman Jr Foundation that he started over the summer. Steve’s grandfather is the inspiration and Mr. Fangman lived his life stressing the importance of giving your time and talents to others and how precious family and children are to the world.

Mr. Fangman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis at age 37 yet still raised seven children, managed a successful family business, and loved his time with his 43 grand and great grandchildren. He lived his life with dignity, grace, and a helping hand.

Steve is quick to point out that he only remembers seeing his grandfather walk 10 times and the daily fight he had battling MS. Steve was so inspired by his grandfather’s courage and love of life that he has used it as a springboard to help others.

The foundation was founded on teaching young people to live and maintain healthy lifestyles and to help families manage the cost and the stress of finding adequate health care for loved ones suffering with MS and cancer.

In five short months he has already raised a considerable amount of money, is in three schools working with children, and is lining up more donors, more schools, and more ways to impact people’s lives.

I realized on the way home from our meeting, that when people say one person can change the world, what I was lacking was definition around the word “world.” Steve is living proof. Watching him speak about his work, the children, his grandfather, and the conviction he has to serve others is inspiring. The world in which Steve is creating for himself and others he is helping is making a difference.

In a time when people tend to hold their hands out for help, Steve is holding his out to help. So yes, I do believe one person can make a difference; he has already made a difference in mine.


Two people trying to fight the stigma of lung cancer.

August 23, 2010

Every once in awhile you work on an account and meet a group of people that stays with you. It makes such an impact that you not only want to see them succeed, but you want to take ownership in doing all that you can to make it possible.

Almost two years ago our team at Hetrick began a relationship with the then Lungs for Life, now Cancer-Free Lungs (CFL). Amy and Dr. Nasser Hanna started the organization to help provide support, education, advocacy, and a committed voice for those suffering from lung cancer.

We started with a name change, then logo/corporate ID design, and then moved onto their education program, website, and in-school materials. Throughout the process we talked with teens struggling with addiction, patients dying of lung cancer, and families devastated by the relentless disease.

I knew we would hear stories of the pack-a-day smokers, the bar workers, or even the casual “just when I drink” scenarios, but it was how willing the patients were to use their stories as messages that surprised me. The families who shared their pain, the patients who shared how hideous the treatments were, and even Dr. Hanna’s stories of days when he would lose seven, seven patients in one day.

And just when I felt like I was getting the overview of the disease we learned about the cases of people who didn’t smoke that acquired the disease and died a horrible death. That broke every stereotype I had of the disease and made me realize that like any cancer, this could happen to anyone, at any time.

Each year CFL puts on two events, a walk in Ft. Wayne and a 5K-walk/run in Fishers. The events are not a survivors’ walk or run, rather these events offer support, compassion, empathy, and memories for those who have lost or more than likely will lose someone close to the disease.

Last year a Carmel High School student spoke the crowd and addressed the fact that his biggest hero, the strongest person he knew, and the rock in his life was dying of lung cancer. He knew she would not be with him forever, but he would never forget, never stop loving, and never stop believing in all that his mother taught him. You could already see her strength, tenacity, and will in him.

I ask all of you who are moved enough to help others, to at least put CFL on your list. Donate, volunteer, go to the event, say a prayer, or simply keep the hope alive that people like the Hannas and their unbelievably open and honest patients will find a cure.