I have always loved my birthday, but as a cancer survivor, it's even more special. When I was diagnosed with stage IV HPV-related oral cancer at age 44, I was truly unsure if I was going to live to see my 45th birthday.
This will be a very positive blog, however just to remind everyone, when I was first told I had cancer my first call was to my family to share my diagnosis; my second call was to my friend David Diamond, a local radiation oncologist sharing that I was likely becoming his patient, and my third call was to my life insurance advisor, confirming that my life insurance policies were on auto draft. In the event things didn't go well, I wanted to make certain my policies didn't lapse, so that my wife and kids would always be taken care of.
Obviously, things went well, today I am cancer free, and this past Sunday I celebrated my 48th birthday.
Let me share some videos from Sunday, September 24th which I hope will make you smile, and appreciate my enthusiasm for life.
The TSA officer at the Orlando International Airport - My 1st Birthday song of the day - Beautiful voice. She started a day of Birthday Singing and many people had a blast!
The woman where I bought my water for my flight - Quite a sport - Lots of fun. Almost my 2nd song of day!
2nd song of day - She was a ton of fun.
3rd - Southwest Employees sing Hawaiian style Birthday song
4th birthday song - Orlando airport - Woman, her son & coworker - sing to me!
5th - Marisa sings to me - She is sitting next to me on my Southwest flight - I discover her birthday was the day before mine. As we sing to each other, we hear the couple behind us singing and discover his birthday is also today. Southwest is a blast & this was one of my favorite flights ever. Even the lead flight attendant gave me a birthday shout out!
6th - Birthday song - Chicago Uber driver - Joins the birthday singing extravaganza
7th - Birthday song - Day after my birthday - He eventually participates - Awesome server!
I am focused on appreciating that which is important in life, family and friends, while serving as a role model to those that are diagnosed and struggling with HPV-related oral cancer.
During this week, as we get back to life after making it through Hurricane Irma, a full week without power, I remind myself how lucky I am to have a wife, kids, family, friends and a business I love. I feel fortunate that I have overwhelming support from the people that surround me, and my mission and passion is to provide that same support to others in need.
As I think about the future, I am enthusiastic about celebrating future birthdays with my wife, kids, family and friends, at accomplishing the goals I set for myself each year during my birthday, and at positively impacting others. My plan is to live life to the fullest, create awesome memories for our family, and I am excited to see what our three kids will accomplish, and who they will become.
While I enjoy presents, as most people do, the gift of life is certainly the most precious.
Thanks for reading, and let me know what I can do for you on your life's journey.