Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.

He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.

Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."

I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.

I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."

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Friday, December 19, 2008

Give a Girl a Break

***Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have****
In one of my previous postings, I referred to a “benefactor” who would often do little gestures to make me smile.
He was a little “unimpressed” with my choice of the word “benefactor,” though an article in “Dartmouth Alumni Magazine” describes him in a similar manner using the same word.
He felt the choice of words insinuated an alterior motive for his giving, while he genuinely gives as an investment in the potential in a person. He gives what others cannot give themselves.
He’s done this for years previously. Luckily, this time, the lucky recipient just happens to be me.
He gives and asks little to nothing in return. In my case, what he was to receive in return was my survival.
In the years since I’ve known him, he’s upped the ante a little bit. I am now required to “pay it forward.” I’m required to give to someone something they cannot give to themselves.
My son met him sitting on a bench outside the cancer unit when I was an inpatient at Dartmouth in 2006.
X had a speech delay, and at three, had never just struck up a conversation with anybody, certainly not a stranger, but he picked Frank right up.
Frank was sitting on the bench with his father’s dog, a German Shepard.
This was a great icebreaker for X, who loves to talk about “Nika” our dog.
When X heard Frank’s dad was in the hospital, he immediately launched into a story about how his mom “lived” in the hospital too!
How could that NOT get somebody’s attention?
Frank started coming by with presents for X and I. He referred to himself as the “old gray ghost,” and rarely came in to see me.
Until one day, I requested, or demanded, to see him. I wanted to know who this guy was.
He knew little about me. He certainly did not pick me for my good looks. I was bald and had gained 30 lbs in fluid overload on the day I met him.
He did like my “sassy attitude” and my “wit and charm.” He was also impressed by my smile, which was all I really had left of my looks by that point.
I was impressed by his honesty. Even then, I was rarely put in my place. He “kept it real” with me.
Another “project” of his stated, “through his words I’ve come to realize that he invested his money in me knowing he will get a return on his investment. This may not come in the form of cash but will happen through my personal development and my helping others unconditionally in my own life.”
He knows how to pick diamonds in the rough. This woman is now pursuing her PhD in economics, finance and education reform. She started as an undergraduate math major at Dartmouth.
I’ve come to know him as my “give a girl a break guy.” I was impressed with his ability to enter my life despite my family’s misgivings. He did have to provide references to my mom to validate his intentions.
Being a Keene State grad got him an automatic in with my dad.
Now, we’ve been friends for years. I’ve never met anyone else like him. That’s what drew me to him in the first place. I enjoy people’s eccentricities. I’m even okay with showing mine. We’re a rare breed.
He has inspired me, along with many others, to share my experience. I thought I could provide information and a perspective people may not get elsewhere.
He convinced me I still had talents to offer, not despite my situation, but because of my situation.
My idea to give what I know for free has always been mine. Education and information should not be exclusively for the wealthy. It should be available to all. Everyone deserves inspiration. He just reminded me that I still had something I could give, myself.
Frank’s investment in me validated my feelings, my ideas, and my intelligence. He encouraged me to speak. He taught me about “person-to-person giving,” a concept I love.
No middle man, no intermediaries means no corporate overhead, no one dipping their sticky fingers in the charity pot. I love it.
I have a charity idea based on this concept. I’m not ready to present it yet, but someday I will.
I took a couple swipes at “paying it forward” before my blog idea. I attached myself to some young single mothers, women I could relate to, until, unfortunately, I became too sick to help.
His concept and manner of giving has been used as a foundation for my works and ideas. I am still lucky enough to have compelled his interest. You can all thank him, a little bit, if you enjoy me.
***Please thank Frank for letting me tell his "secret." He started his own "Hillary Update" list years ago, which filled my life with many friends who support me***


Dani said...

Well let me be the first to THANK FRANK, thank you... and as for you Hill, you are such a strong person I look up to up and only wish I could be half the person you are. Everyday I read your blog and wish man I wish I could be just like you, and some days I feel that I don't do enough, and makes me want to be like you even more, so Thank you, for sharing everything with all of us and showing all of us how to be better people. luv ya

Anonymous said...

Hillary, I am a very good friend of Frank's and have been on he Hillary distribution list since it started and have to say, you did an amazing job of describing the "gray ghost". He is the REAL THING......and those of us who are lucky enough to be his "friend" are extremely fortunate.. I read your blog almost every day and think of and pray for you every day. GREAT JOB!!!! Keep being the special quirky, spunky person you are!!! The world is a better place because of people like Frank and people like YOU!!!!