Cancer is not the worst thing that has ever happened in my life, it just might be one of the most transformational. The change that cancer brought to my life in 2003 includes far more than a new silhouette. I have had to learn and re-learn many things as a result of losing my hand and forearm to sarcoma in June of that year. Most significantly, I have learned that life does go on – and that there are very few things I cannot accomplish with the right amount of patience, persistence and grace. My resilient response to change is due in part to my positive attitude, which I come by naturally. Saying “Yes, this has happened. And now what?” It is also due to a lifetime of paying attention to challenges and putting forth the effort to ask for help, to learn to do things a new way, or sometimes to decide, gracefully not to do that thing. Grace is my key to opening the doors of possibility.
I have the privilege of doing what I do for a good cause. All proceeds from my efforts to share the message found in my speeches, workshops and book are intended to make a difference in the lives of those touched by cancer.
I established The Hourglass Fund Project to express my gratitude for skillful, compassionate medical care, delivered with remarkable competence found at the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, and for the resources available to keep myself as emotionally and spiritually healthy as possible during my cancer journey and beyond, represented by the Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota. The Hourglass Fund at the University of Minnesota Foundation was established to foster collaboration of the science that heals the body, with the critical role that mind and spirit play toward that end; and to support research projects that explore the intersection between cancer and integrative healing practices.
The Hourglass Fund Project has funded two research projects at the U of M: the first to research the effectiveness of Mindfulness Based Cancer Recovery in survivors who have recently completed treatment; the second to explore the effectiveness of music therapy on pediatric patients undergoing bone marrow transplant and their families. Both projects are ongoing. You can help fund a project in 2017. Together, we can make a difference.