Tuesday, March 30, 2010


INDIANAPOLIS, IN - I read a facebook post recently that said something like ‘I don’t mind if people are ambitious, I just want them to admit it.’ I’ve heard about some pretty blatant ambition lately, and quite frankly I find it wholly disconcerting. It’s all over social media sites and even the evening news; Climb that ladder, throw whomever it takes under the bus to get to the next ‘level’, disparaging others to make oneself look good, you name it. And not just in the political arena, just in the regular business world! I don’t mind reading about these types of folks, they are pretty clear about what they want and there is something to be said for that kind of candor.

But, today I want to tell you about George and his ambition. In his world, he’s about as important as you can get. He’s got a big, juicy title (several, in fact, and they are so big they can’t all fit on a business card. That alone should throw the overachievers into an apoplectic fit.) He is treated like a superstar, king or even deity by the people who come to see him in his place of business. (Ok, maybe not the nurses, but they do love him. They just don’t genuflect like the rest of us.) I don’t know his salary, but I’m sure it would make people envious as well. In other words, he is the most successful man that I know. King of the hill, top of the heap, a-number-one, just like the song says.

This is my favorite part of George, however. He is compassionate, gentle, kind and quick-witted. He doesn’t parade around in $3,000 suits or insist that we be silent while he is present. He never shakes my hand, he hugs me instead. When he talks to my children, he smiles at them and addresses them as if they really matter to him, and aren’t just nuisances in the way. He has cried with patients who are sick, were too sick to make it, and laughed with the ones who could continue on. I asked him once what else he could possibly want from life, what would make him retire to a life of leisure and luxury. His response should be an example to all, in my opinion, and why George is the most successful man I know.

He said, quietly, “I would like to be put out of a job. I would like a cure for cancer.”

Monday, March 8, 2010

Girlie Bikes

SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA - Hi, I’m really it, just darling, stamina aplenty, fear nothing, and oh yea, I’m extremely photogenic. Ok, that’s not what the gals from Team Vera Bradley Foundation said when they met me, but they might as well have. These are professional racers, and they hail from across the planet. Australia, South Africa, Israel, Canada and of course the good ‘ole USA are represented on this team. They have embraced the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer as a cause they want to promote this year, and we are extremely thankful. Who better to be the face of our future? Strong and healthy, brave and confident. They are tackling some big roads, some high hills. They are doing this for us this year, fellow survivors. They are doing it with big smiles and hopeful hearts. As they begin their racing season, I hope to be able to personally introduce them to as many of you as I possibly can. What they are doing can not be measured - in terms of the awareness they are raising - but it will most certainly help us all. Girlie girls, with big mean bikes. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

On Screen Sirens

HOLLYWOOD - Greta Garbo. Brigitte Bardot. Both actresses who made their marks in very big ways; mostly, I suspect, in the hearts of their male fans. Without question, they were women of strength, talent and enviable beauty. Brigitte was unabashed in the way she voiced her opinions, her sexuality and her everyday life. Greta was rumored to be a spy during WWII, and had even suggested that she shoot Hilter (who, by the way, wrote her fan letters). Women wanted to look like them, think like them and (secretly, I’m sure) act like them. Men just wanted to be in their presence.

I don’t know that their acting talents ever got in the way of their lives, interestingly enough. It seems to be a side item to everything else they had going on, they were just absolutely driven and seemed to have a great time doing the driving. Greta played tennis with Errol Flynn; Brigitte posed for Playboy after she turned 40. I don’t think many women can say they did either of those things. While they may not have won a Nobel Prize or started world-changing foundations, they do have something in common that speaks to hidden strengths. And might show that some of us have more in common with these dynamos then you might think.

They both had breast cancer.