It was 6 years ago this morning that my family and I sat by my brother’s bedside at Seattle’s Children’s Hospital, watching in disbelief as nurses shut down monitors, removed IVs, and quietly left the hospital room, leaving us to take in all that had just happened.
Cancer had just beaten Scott.
It went quick, but yet it didn’t. After 9 months of treatment, Scott went into remission on Christmas Day 2006. In January, he left for Boston to experience what every 19-year old should experience — college, in a great college town. Unfortunately, his time in Boston was short. Less than 6 weeks later, Scott’s cancer had come back and so did he — back to Seattle Children’s. He never left.
For those 3 months before he died on June 5, 2007,
there was hope and disappointments and hope again. It seemed like a lifetime. Scott’s body was healthy enough for a bone marrow transplant for a moment, but no match was found when he could receive it. Then his health declined, and a match was found. Partial victory. No transplant. Defeat, again. Then Meningitis hit, and the end became nearer. Scott passed away on June 5, 2007, on a beautiful sunny day just like today.
What would take me years later to realize is that one day marking the end of his life would mark the beginning of life for so many more people.
Since June 5, 2007, this is what has transpired….
Kiteboarding 4 Cancer, the event that started it all…
- The Largest Amateur Kiteboarding event in North America heads into its’ 7th event July 12-14th, continuing to grow and reach supporters around the globe. To date, the event has raised over $425,000 for regional cancer programs that directly impact lives right now.
- has inspired over 100 amateur and professional artists to recycle old boards and transform them into works of art after Scott’s experience creating art as a form of release, expression, and personal healing while battling cancer.
- that includes survivors, supporters, advocates, friends, family & caregivers too — have participated in 13 events over 6 years to raise money for various cancer programs.
- began, empowering young survivors to find healing, confidence and empowerment after cancer through outdoor adventure.
- Lives impacted through the camp since 2011:
Directly: 280 (actual number of people who have attended Camp Koru)
In-directly, through personal connections & shared experience: 1400
Ripple-effect Impact (we call it the “REI” in which individuals and groups are moved to awareness and action by stories & experiences, through volunteerism with A4C, attending events given by an A4C ambassador, and working with our ambassadors in treatment centers, and advocacy & support programs across the country): 9,175
- was born after Camp Koru as a channel for our camp participants to further personal growth, conduct program outreach, and inspire other survivors through volunteerism and leadership in the young adult cancer community.
People & Organizations are paying attention.
- The John Wayne Cancer Foundation has been an ongoing supporter and advisor, generously helping fund each of our survivorship camps and providing spirit and support along the way.
- The North Face Explore Fund has helped fun one of our 2013 camps.
- Received SELF Magazine’s Women Doing Good Award for our Survivorship Camps
- The LIVESTRONG Young Adult Cancer Alliance, Critical Mass, awarded A4C the 2012 Mass Effect Award for “Providing services and outcomes to adolescents and young adults with cancer by increasing survival rates and quality of life through collaborations between cancer researchers, healthcare providers, and advocates.”
Stories that might change you…
- Like the one from Dash, who writes about how life changed after her experience at camp. Or the one from Luna, who volunteered to be camp photographer and shares her story via her lens.
Travel Oregon… yes, the state of Oregon…
- just released a nice story on how all of this came about, while highlighting the beautiful Columbia Gorge, where our organization lives. They dedicated it to Scott.
It might sound odd, but when I think about this day, I get more emotional when I think about what Scott did after he died than what he did while he was living. He wanted to have impact on people’s lives. It was just never imaginable that this was how it would transpire.
If you are a supporter of A4C, know that you have contributed greatly to all this impact. Thank you for your support and for being a part of the great impact Scott Farman had in this world.