Thursday, May 21, 2009

Instant Karma's Gonna Get You

Entering last night's game, Nick Swisher was mired in a long slump, hitting .102/.262/.184 for May. While he was struggling on the field, the ever-positive right fielder didn't take his troubles outside the white lines. On the heels of his charitable outing Wednesday afternoon, Swish spent some time pre-game with Polly Tompkins and her guests at the Stadium. A lifelong Yankee fan, Tompkins is battling breast cancer, and was the Yankees' honorary bat girl as a guest of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Polly threw out the first pitch, and it was caught by none other than Swisher.

Swisher went on to hit a HR in his first AB of the night, draw 2 BBs and score 2 runs. After the game, he presented Polly with the line-up card as a memento of the evening. This on the heels of Brett Gardner's visit to the Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital last Friday, that preceeded his 3 for 3 performance featuring a triple and the first Yankee inside-the-park HR in 10 years. If you do good things, good things will happen for you. So in a break from our usual tomfoolery here, I'd like to ask you all to consider doing something good today.

Virtually no one can go through life without being affected by cancer in some way. I work for a medical device company that deals exclusively with cancer treatment. While we are a for-profit company, I find comfort in knowing that the work we do can help people stricken with this awful disease. My job does not entail seeing the people we aim to help, but cancer has hit close to me in recent weeks:

  • Last week, Mark Herzlich, star linebacker at my alma mater, reigning ACC Defensive Player of the Year, and all around good person, announced he has Ewing's Sarcoma. A month ago he was projected as a top ten pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Now at age 21, he has a disease with a 5 year survival rate of 70 to 80%. His prognosis is good thankfully, and I'm sure Herzy can win this.
  • A co-worker, universally liked and respected in the office, was diagnosed with Stage IV colorectal cancer recently. She's started chemo and is battling like a champ. It's inspiring to see how bravely she's facing this and the constantly positive outlook and good humor she's maintaining.
  • Another well-liked co-worker lost her father over the weekend. He had been fighting cancer for some time.
  • My grandmother, who can discuss the state of the Yankees as well as anyone I know, beat breast cancer four years ago. My family is now anxiously awaiting the results of tests that could indicate a recurrence.
Below is a list of cancer charities. I need some good karma, so I'm going to make a donation or two. I ask you to consider doing the same, not for my benefit, but perhaps your own, and certainly for those affected by the disease.

  • Yankees Universe Fund - benefits pediatric cancer care at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • American Cancer Society - A charity with which Bobby Murcer worked. Murcer lost his fight with brain cancer last year and would have turned 63 yesterday.
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure - The charity that brought Polly Tompkins to the Stadium last night. MLB also partners with them annually for Mother's Day
  • Prostate Cancer Foundation - MLB partners with them for Father's Day
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - Another American Cancer Society effort. This link goes to the personal page of Shari, wife of our friend Jason at IIATM, S. Shari is participating in this event to raise money for breast cancer support and can you use our help.
Thanks for listening. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.


  1. This post meant a lot to me. One of my close friends is in her third go round with leukemia, and she's my age--23. The bone marrow transplant she has doesn't seem to be working.

    I also lost my grandfather, great uncle and two great aunts to the disease...while at least three of the four were smokers, it doesn't make the loss any less painful.

  2. Thanks guys. My wife (who works FOR Am. Cancer Soc.) thanks you more.

  3. Rebecca - I'm very sorry to hear about the family members you lost to, and your friend who continues to struggle with, the disease. I wish her the best.

    Jason - You and Shari are welcome. I hope she's very successful with the walk.