Meet Adam and Adrienne, standing on my left and right in this pic. I've know Adrienne so long that I am not sure what year it was that we met. I think it was about 1991 but it might have been 1993. We met when she first started with Whitewater Voyages. I was a grumpy senior river guide and Aidee was a fresh newbie with a ton of enthusiasm and joy for life. The Chickenhawk and I were both working on the South Fork of the American that season. We ended up fast friends with Aidee. In the winters Adrienne was pursuing an ivy league education while Sarah and I were trying to make ends meet and figure out how to be a young married couple. Over the years we kept coming back to Voyages for the rafting season and my friendship with Aidee just grew and grew. We also both started working in the outdoor industry around the same time. I was a sales rep and Adrienne was a fledgling recruiter with a big firm in her home town, San Francisco. So we got to hang out a couple times a year at the Outdoor Retailer Show.
In 1997 my buddy George and the Chickenhawk threw a surprise 30th birthday party for me. It was a great party and the thing I remember most was that Aidee brought the best birthday present I've every received. I am sure she didn't think of it that way, she was just bringing her boyfriend Adam. But I took to Adam right away, and we've been friends ever since. Around then we bought our home in Coloma and Adam and Aidee escaped San Francisco and moved to Coloma.
Adam and I have been close friends almost since we met. He is honest and honorable. He has the bravery of someone that has faced his worst demons and come to terms with them. In fact, one of his missions in life is to be of service to those in need. He has one tattoo that says attitude of gratitude. Adam is, almost always, in gratitude.
I am blessed with many many strong male friends, the kind of guys that would do anything for you, Jim, Jeff, Curtis, KD, Tommy, David, Fast Dan, Tom, Bill, Matt x3, Marek brother Yllib and I could keep going. When it became obvious a couple of weeks ago that cancer was what I was facing, I had to call Adam. I knew that telling him was going to be incredibly painful but it had to be done. When we talked, I asked Adam to be the One. The One that stays with me by my side all the way. To whatever the end would be. His answer, of course, was yes.
The book Share the Care, describes how to form a care team. One of the key positions was team leader. As the chickenhawk and I read the chapter we both, independently had the experience of substituting 'Adam' for the words 'team leader.' It was that obvious. Adam is a very charismatic guy. He makes his living by understanding the needs of his clients and finding the right people to do the job. He also has to absorb the mission of his clients on a cellular level and then turn around and articulate that mission to potential candidates. At this, he is a master. That is essentially what he is doing now for me. The mission is to have me be cancer free in the easiest way possible. Adam and Adrienne are responsible for that meeting that brought more than 100 people out to rally for my cause.
The other position that needed to be filled was coordinator. The person that would handle the logistics of all those volunteers coming together to support that mission. We knew that Adam's wife Adrienne would be perfect for the job but we felt it would be too much to ask. To have my disease invade their lives in such a huge way was too much to ask.
Adam of course suggested Adrienne and when he asked her if she could think of anyone to do it, she suggested herself. One of the principles of Share the Care is that no one should work so hard that they become burned out. Also people should be able to take time off to rest, recreate and recover. Adrienne is our coordinator. She is working on getting assistants, because it is a big job. She is perfect for the job.
I cant think of two better people to better see to the well being of my family in a time of need. They have already done tons of work and we are just at the beginning. Their service to me is another example of the many gifts that have come to me. It is another reason that rather than feeling anger, or sadness or sorrow through this adventure, I feel gratitude and a strong desire to do my best.