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Why I get emotional about Tanner

Many of you may have read the story about Tanner; if you haven’t, please take a few moments to read This is Tanner.

This story hits me personally on many levels. The core issue that I think many of you can relate to is that my three kids are all healthy! As forever grateful as I am for this, this has not always been the case. When Bo was born, his one-minute APGAR score was a 1. The hospital staff explained to me that a 0 would mean he was still-born. They worked. Having taught CPR, I recognized infant CPR when it was being administered and I lied to my wife (now my ex), and said they were cleaning him up. Fortunately, his 10-minute APGAR score was a 9. He’s now 22 and he has been remarkably healthy since that episode. (Of course, I’m not counting things like running into a brick wall while playing sports!)

My twins are now 12 (same mom as Bo). But when they were 4, they were on a day-care center field trip to the town swimming pool. (Day-care because I was a single dad from before they were 2-1/2 years old.) Kristen, ever the over confident one, ended up at the bottom of the pool. After a night in the hospital, Kristen was fine and returned home.

I am very fortunate with my kids. All three are alive and well and happy.

That won’t be the same for Tanner and his family. One of his wishes is that he be allowed to die at home.

But, before I was married to my second wife, the mother of my 3 kids, there was my first wife, Sydney. Syd had a very rare form of cancer called clear-celled sarcoma. She passed away in 1974 at the age of 23. This was long before the days of the virtual office and using VPN to access an office network. I was on active duty with the Army at the time and, as supportive as they were, I needed help.

Help arrived from two sources. Syd’s mother moved in with us. This isn’t as simple as it sounds because she and her husband were living in Australia at the time. Additional support came from the women’s group at church who came in every day for months to help with whatever was needed.

Tanner’s family also needs help. This time, it’s Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) who has stepped up to help. Scott has organized a Tweetathon to help raise money. As of 6am this morning, $11,367 has been raised. The goal is $25,000. The Tweetathon is today, Wednesday, 4 August 2010. And Scott has arranged some really good raffle prized donated by people and businesses that care. Every $10 you contribute gets you a ticket into the raffle drawing. If you can, please visit Tweetathon and make your donation.

Thank you.

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