The day before yesterday, I met Sylvia Vanni.
Sylvia is a “momcologist” who went to the end of the earth trying to find something, anything to cure her beautiful seven-year-old son, Sal, of Stage IV neuroblastoma.
“Right up to the moment he took his last breath, I never, ever thought he would die.”
Listening to those words while looking into her tear-filled eyes was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. I saw as clear as day what true, down-to-the-bone grief looks like.
No parent should ever have to feel it. But too many parents do.
Which is why this year, staying up for 25 hours straight for our advertising program’s annual PhilADthropy event won’t be as difficult as it’s been in the past. Because my team will be working around-the-clock for The Mystic Force Foundation (www.mysticforcefoundation.com). Our goal? To turn the city of Miami (and far beyond Miami’s borders) gold next September in honor of childhood cancer awareness month.
At age 42, pulling an all-nighter isn’t as easy for me as it used to be. For the past three years, I had to sneak a nap just to make it through the night! But this year, I won’t be napping. How can I sleep when I’m actually being given the chance to try to do something positive for the thousands of children and their parents who are praying for a cure for cancer? How can I sleep when I’m being given the chance to truly raise awareness of this awful disease? How can I sleep when I’m leading a team whose goal it is to turn everything gold in September in the hopes of raising money to fund research for cures?
I’m sitting at my desk staring in the the adorable face of Sal Vanni. Forever 7.
Sleep during PhilADthropy?
Not a chance.