Like most everyone, my life is touched by cancer. Most specifically, my father Tom James died of cancer in 1990 at age 50. He was a great man, a great father and I’m lucky to have had him as a Dad.
Another great Tom in my life is my cousin who is inspiring me everyday with his courage and tenacity as he deals with his own cancer. His positive attitude and his willingness to invite his friends and family to cheer him on and offer their support while he battles is truly awesome.
About 5 years ago I was invited to perform at a gala for the Cancer Support Community. This was their annual fundraiser in New York City and I was lucky enough to be on the bill for the entertainment portion of the evening. More importantly, I was introduced to CEO, Kim Thiboldeaux, and her vast army of colleagues who make CSC what it is: a vital, passionate organization dedicated to providing a vast network of support for those who deal with cancer while the search for a cure continues.
What makes CSC so wonderful to me is the wide approach they take to not only support patients, but also the friends and family around them who are dealing with the diagnosis as well. The word "community" in their title is no accident. It’s the backbone of how they offer support. I love this approach. I feel lucky that with their initial invitation to sing a song for them at their gala, I now was able to sing their praises with this fundraiser my brother and I organized.
My cousin Tom and my father Tom have led me to this effort. Thank you for your support as my brother and I as we ran the Chicago Marathon under the banner of TEAM TOM!, two great men who inspire us daily. All funds raised benefitted the CANCER SUPPORT COMMUNITY, an organization that is dear to my heart and is continually and valiantly helping so many who live with the realities that cancer brings.
As the largest professionally led nonprofit network of cancer support worldwide, the Cancer Support Community (CSC), including its Gilda’s Club affiliates, is dedicated to ensuring that all people impacted by cancer are empowered by knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by community. CSC achieves its mission through three areas: direct service delivery, research, and advocacy. The organization includes an international network of Affiliates that offer the highest quality social and emotional support for people impacted by cancer, as well as a community of support available online and over the phone. The Research and Training Institute conducts cutting-edge psychosocial, behavioral, and survivorship research. CSC furthers its focus on patient advocacy through its Cancer Policy Institute, informing public policy in Washington, D.C. and across the nation.