Last week I received an email with photos of a Chivette in a bikini, nothing new there, aways appreciated of course. But then I noticed the Chivette didn’t have any hair… something very new there. So I started reading.
The email was from a Chiver named Kevin. He told me about a beautiful friend of his named Tamara who just endured her 6th chemo treatment for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma which had nearly crippled the surfer girl.
Adding insult to serious injury, Tamara’s insurance was waffling on her treatments. She needed 3-4 more rounds of chemo to complete her treatment, a treatment that promises a 82% remission rate. Her future was never more uncertain.
Kevin had organized a fundraiser for Tamara at a local bar in San Clemente. He said there would be a silent auction and wrote his request. He asked for me to send one BFM 3D and one KCCO Original for the silent auction?
We can do way better than two t-shirts.
You see, San Clemente is a small town but I happen to know it’s got more Chivers in it per-capita than most towns in the world, Camp Pendleton is minutes away… as well as the San Onofre nuclear reactor – so they’re crazy Chivers, the best kind. More on that shortly.
I wanted to meet Tamara and invited her to come to the offices if she was up to it. I met with her last Tuesday, it was the first day she’d gotten out of bed for a week. But you’d never know it, Tamara showed up smiling. She wanted to sit on theCHIVE balcony and enjoy the ocean.
Tamara took a deep breath and told me her story. She told me about discovering a lump on her neck and what it’s like to hear a doctor tell you you have cancer. ‘You hear the word and the rest is sort of a blur, I snapped back and caught something about a massive tumor starting at my diaphragm, snaking around my lungs choking me, up my trachea, and around the left side of my neck. Basic end-of-life stuff, ya’ know.’
Chemo began immediately.
She explained what it’s like to get injections of a drug called Neupogen. It’s a drug that is absorbed into the bone marrow and pumps out white blood cells faster than a normal body usually would. It’s helpful but the side effect are quite painful. Bones become inflamed and sore. Tamara told me, ‘It felt like somebody was hammering a chisel into my lower back. The rest of my bones ached like the worst kind of growing pains. The injections are unbelievable painful, especially the first two hours after injection. After my second injection I could barely breathe. I looked at my best friend Amanda and asked if I was going to die?’
And that was only Tamara’s fourth chemo treatment. There were two more chemo rounds to follow, the details of which are simply too dreadful to describe here.
Amanda has been a Chiver for a long time. Still, she never contacted us for help despite her friends’ encouragement, “I didn’t want to be a bother.”
Instead, tons of Chivers stepped up on her behalf – Kevin, Amanda, even Chivettes Erin Young and Sarah Jay called me about Tamara. I’m always amazed at the forces that swirl around somebody who needs our help. It’s helped me sort of triangulate the individual in need so many times now. I have to thank all the Chivers who keep their eyes open and contact me about these things – I still read all your emails.
So what can we do?
Tamara’s best friend Amanda works at Zona’s Italian Restaurant in San Clemente. Amanda and her coworkers have organized a fundraiser for Tamara this Sunday at 1pm. There’s a suggested donation of $10 at the door, a silent auction, and drink specials – proceeds to benefit Tamara.
I’ll be attending with a few of the misfits from the office. It’s an open event.
All the info you need can be found on the fundraiser’s Facebook Page. As of now, 90 people are committed to attending. Something tells me that’s about to change. I think just about every Marine from Camp Pendleton has been by the office. I hope to see you guys there. I’ll bring a bunch of Marine KCCO’s to auction off.
The Chive family in all in on this. We’ve donated a bunch of shirts as well as signed KCCO reclaimed wood art in the lead photos (I think my signature actually makes things worth less but the pen strokes are breathtaking). We’ve also passed the hat around the office and we’ll be making a $1,000 donation to Tamara.
And Bill Murray has donated the #2 print of the famous Cinderella Story poster to be auctioned off at the silent auction. We’ll be transporting it down from LA in a Brinks security truck or some shit.
So if you’re in the area this weekend, let’s get together, raise a glass, and raise some money for a Chivette who could use a little help right now.
See y’all on Sunday.
Directions and fundraiser details here.