This morning, I’m paying homage to a man I never knew and who now I never will, Peter Freyne.
Yes, Peter Freyne was a cancer patient, diagnosed with non-hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006. In fact, Peter Freyne was a SURVIVOR. He overcame his disease only to succumb recently to pneumonia, a common ailment of those who have sought treatment in the past, at the ripe young age of 59. I’ve heard it said, and the adage is true, “If the cancer doesn’t kill you, the cure will.”
I’m going to tweak that a little bit to “If the cancer doesn’t kill you, the cure can.” Just because it can doesn’t mean it necessarily WILL.
After hearing news of his death, I reviewed his blog Seven Days: Freyne Land, http://7d.blogs.com/freyneland/, which combined politics with illness and humor. He claimed himself to be an “independent voice.”
You all probably can tell how I feel about those voices.
In life, we may have been friends.
I certainly hope I don’t get the chance to be friends with him in death for a very long time.
In honor of him, let’s talk about Citizen’s Energy, Joseph Kennedy’s oil subsidy program that was in danger of running out of oil for the poor.
I think ol’ Peter would have seen the irony in this.
“Citgo continues support of free heating oil plan: Venezuelan firm says it never ended deal with Citizens Energy,” the Globe proclaims today. (http://www.boston.com/business/personalfinance/articles/2009/01/08/citgo_continues_support_of_free_heating_oil_plan/)
Oh, the irony that Venezuala is our heating savior. This program “provides free heating oil to 200,000 low-income households in 23 states, including Massachusetts.”
Imagine the consequences of losing this program mid-winter, especially in the North East.
Let’s send a big thank you to our friends in Venezuala, and to Joseph Kennedy II, who continued communicating with Pres. Chaves despite some rocky times in the past.
Many of you may not remember the misshap the Bush Administration had with Venezuealan President, Hugo Chavez during Bush’s reign.
It did get ugly for a while there.
During that period, I happened to be residing in Westchester and working in the S. Bronx. Guess who showed up to hand out free gas to his people who had immigrated to the United States?
No other than Pres. Chavez himself. I very much wanted to go see him, but under the turmoil of the international politics at the time, I restrained.
"Critics of Chávez in Venezuela and the United States claim that the Chávez government is leading Venezuela in an authoritarian direction, abandoning democratic tradition, extending state control over the economy, eliminating dissent, and carrying out "social programs that will set Venezuela back". (From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_Hugo_Ch%C3%A1vez)
However, in making this one gesture of coming to America to join his former people, Pres. Chavez did earn himself an American admirer, something I have NEVER BEFORE admitted.
Yes, I disliked the unrest between the US and Venezuela so much even I did not comment. I even remained silent when my Latin American friends spoke about the matter (Their perspective was VERY different than what our news was telling us at the time. I do like to receive multiple views on the same situation.).
The coup d’etat I’m referring to occurred in April 2002 and temporarily removed Chavez from power. He was returned to his post after 47 hours and was reelected in 2006.
Now, the Venezualans have come to the rescue of many poor Americans. If you need further information on how to access this program, see the Globe’s website.
As for Peter Freyne, I hope he’s proud somewhere watching the world play its course.
I’ll leave you with a comment from him: Each day of life is a gift. It's got to be for a reason, eh? And it only works best when we realize we're in it together.”
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."