Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Yesterday I received a call from an account executive with CBS Channel 11 Dallas. This was a contact I had only met last week through a series of quick events. Anywho, he invited myself and my boss to a fundraising luncheon today for the American Cancer Society where Katie Couric would serve as the keynote speaker. Of course we said yes. Someone invites you to a luncheon where Katie Couric is speaking and we dont have to pay for the price of the plate, wed be fools to turn it down. Katie is one of a small group of people I would do just about anything to hear speak in person. The only other woman (alive that is) that ranks as high as Katie on my list (if not higher) would be Oprah. And Ill admit it, this being my first fundraiser of this caliber I was a bit nervous, especially considering the distinct possibility of having to fend off sales people by myself as my boss might not have made it (but lucky for me he did). Still over all, the program did not disappoint. It moved quickly and Katie was incredible to hear speak in person. Her speech centered around her personal story with her husband dying from colon cancer and her sister from pancreatic cancer with most of the time spent on her experience with her husband. This was a story I vaguely knew but she went through the details of the first doctors visit, the warning signs they ignored, etc. She emphasized her efforts since his death to raise public awareness for colon cancer and for early detection. And she said something that I had never thought of before: To not take care of yourself, to think of yourself as immortal and not get the screening you should, is selfish. There are people that love you and depend on you that would be crushed if something happened to you. And to ignore your health is selfish. She apparently can't stand when people say So-and-so survived because he had the will to live. Cemeteries are filled with people who had the will to live, but luck and biology werent on their sides. Her goal was to get more people comfortable talking about colon cancer. And I would say she accomplished that especially considering her on air colonoscopy on The Today Show. Apparently, the prep is worse than the test, but then we wont have cameras on us during the procedure watching our every move. You have to admire her determination to raise the awareness and increase the number of people who receive the test. She has stayed consistent in her message. Even nearly 9 years after her husband died, you can tell it still as a big effect on her. Her ending comment after accepting a pair of cowboy boots for the open invitation to the Cattle Barrons Ball was all-Katie: Just think, the next time you tell a friend to stick it where the sun dont shine, youll be doing a good thing. Katie is as personable and down-to-earth as she appears on TV and all-in-all, it was a good experience and a lot of fun. And when she said she cared about all of us, I actually believed her (although if I hadn't seen her in person I might not have) because she's that sincere (Call me naive if you must).