Saturday, October 1, 2011

31 Days of Making a Difference

        Today is the start of "Breast Cancer Awareness Month"...for someone like me it is kinda silly to have a month to remind you of the disease that ripped through your family and changed your life forever. I embrace the pink because it makes Tara smile, I do my part in raising the awareness to the cause to try and prevent others from being diagnosed at such a young age such as my wife.

        I have lived through the two years of treatment and recovery that Tara had to endure, I have walked 180 miles in the boldest breast cancer walk ever. I have met some of the bravest women to walk this earth, bravest for the fight that they have already fought and bravest because of the fight they still know is in front of them. I have raised close to $20,000 in two years time for an organization that is dedicated to finding a cure for this horrible disease, still all of this is not enough...I still feel like we can do more.

        That is why I have chosen to make a difference, 31 Days of Making a Difference in someone's life. I know about raising money, I know about walking 60 miles in 3-Days, I knew how to honor my wife by caring for her in her darkest days, I even know about posing for a half naked photo shoot on a 14 degree winter day all for the good of this cause...but I still knew I can do more.

        The 31 Day project started of as a challenge for myself to reach out and do less talk and more action, no newspapers, no tv cameras...just helping people being affected by this disease right now. I still can remember the feeling I had when winter was just a few weeks away and my house was not ready for the snow to fly, one saturday afternoon when Tara was deep into the chemo treatments 29 people from my church came over and closed up the outside of the house for winter, split firewood, raked leaves and weeded the gardens. From that day til Tara's last chemo treatment those families provided 2 meals a week for my family, that will never be forgotten...

         Now it is time to pass that blessing on to many other families, for the next 31 Days I will be putting my everyday life on hold and will be working to bless someone else just as we have been blessed. I invited all of my friends on Facebook as a way of gaining ideas for the project and for general support, turns out that alot of you would like to make a difference also. If you would like to help with the project and make a difference in someone's life here are a few ways you can help:

1. If you would like to make some meals for some families during the month of October that would be great, I am planning on serving 12 families 2 meals a week for 4 weeks...that's 96 meals.

2. If you would rather not cook the meals you could buy the supplies and Tara and I will make the meals.

3. You can donate to the "31 Days of Making a Difference" at and we will shop for the supplies and cook the meals.

4. You can spread the word about the project, find people we can help and pray for the work that we will be doing throughout the month that we will truly be making a difference in someone's life.

         So far we have requests for meals, yard work, general house maintenance, house cleaning, car rides to treatment centers and letter writing. This is a great way to teach your kids what it means to serve, join us for what I hope is an all year round project.

Send me an email at with your contact info or call me at 440-610-4449 if you wish to help...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

How Far Would You Go For The One You Love?

That is the question that I am still testing myself to find out, not even close yet...
When someone first made the statement to me "you should apply to be a 60 Mile Man", I thought "ok sounds easy enough". Wrong...after being chosen as one of the 12 men to represent the men of the 60 mile 3-Day, I soon found out this was work. Finding a photographer, coming up with an interesting concept for my photo shoot and executing idea...oh and timing the photo shoot in the middle of winter to look like it is June. Luckily I was blessed with a great photographer that eased my nerves and rescheduled due to weather on more than one occasion.
I took some days off work to tour downtown Cleveland to find the best location to represent my 3-Day city, luckily once again I was blessed to contact Forest City Enterprises who practically gave me the keys to the city to shoot on top of any of the buildings they owned or managed in Cleveland…that’s about 80% of downtown Cleveland. Of course I would not be satisfied with any building, I chose the coolest building in downtown Cleveland…the Terminal Tower. As we toured the observation deck on the 42th floor my body got goose bumps from the rich history, this building was built in 1928 and was one of the tallest buildings in the USA until 1964. I expressed to the general manager of Forest City that this is it…except the large exterior pillars take away from the city view for my photo, luckily once again I was blessed with someone who just wanted to help me. He said “no problem, follow me” he proceeded to take me through what was obviously a restricted area …we were going to the roof top on the 44th floor. Now I do not know how many of you have been up 650 feet with no more than a three foot railing between you and the free air but let me tell you “it’s pretty damn cool”. It would have even been cooler if we did not have the ice storm that morning, easily a ½” of ice covering the Terminal Tower…that did not stop me. I took what was most likely the coolest 360 degree walk around Cleveland’s icon building, in an ice storm…
The morning of the photo shoot finally came, the temp was only 14 degrees on ground level. The snow had melted and the winds were kicking up…but I guess the winds would always be kicking up when you are on the rooftop in Cleveland in March! The only good thing about being up so high is there is not a lot of gawkers around, unlike the first location that we shot on a hillside right off of the freeway in my underwear. A lot of gawkers there, the Terminal Tower rooftop had this weird peaceful feeling. Aside from the cold icy rubber roof on my bare feet and the fact that my 20”x24” photo poster almost flew right out of my hands off of the 44th floor, the shoot was a complete success.
Now it is time to sell, the 60 Mile Men Orginization would like us to sell 100 calendars…they do not know me very well. My goal is to sell 300 calendars before my walk at the end of July…follow this link to my website to purchase your 60 Mile Men Calendar and pay with Paypal
If you are local to the Elyria area stop by Fundak's Art Corner at 436 Cleveland St. Elyria 44035 to purchase your copy.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Welcome to our new home...

Tara's Journey started June 4, 2009 when Tara was diagnosed with stage 3 invasive breast cancer. Since the beginning of her journey we have used a Caringbridge website to keep all of our friends and family updated with her treatments and progress as she fought her cancer, the Caringbridge site was host to 23,335 visitors who faithfully kept checking back on her progress.

In the past two years we as a family have learned what is really important in our lives and have found many ways to make an impact on the ones who really need it in the breast cancer world. Our new website really illustrates the many different ways we are involved with Susan G. Komen and in the community. The CaringBridge website will remain open for anyone to still view, but will not be updated as frequently. In Tara's words "the Caringbridge site is for people who are sick and I am not sick". 

"Tara's Journey In Ink" will be our new journal site to express ourselves and inform all of our supporters what is going on with Tara's Journey, please take the time to register with the site and you will be notified when new updates have been posted. As everyone already knows Tara and I can be unpredictable, never know what will happen with us next...kind like ending up on the front center page of the Chronicle Telegram. I did not even see that one coming (thanks Bruce), check out the Chronicle Telegram article here 

Cindy Liese from the Chronicle wrote a fantastic article on Tara's Journey and the 60 Mile Men Calendar that I had the honor of being "Mr. June 2012" in, if you also feel she did a great job representing the work Tara and I are doing please let her know, everyone I spoke with commented on how nice it was to see such a positive story on the front page. Please take the time to let her know at

Please spread the word about our new sites...