So I have mentioned Pablove a few times on this here blog. The Pablove Foundation is named after an amazing little boy named Pablo who touched the lives of everyone he met and actually he made an indelible mark on thousands of people who never actually met him. Each of those people read his story and followed his brave fight against cancer. Entry after entry they fell in love with Pablo and his family, prayed for him, cried for him, laughed out loud at his zany phrases or super cool outfits…all these things conveyed on the Pablog by his papa Jeff, momma Jo Ann and big brother Grady. How do I know this you ask? Well I was one of those people, and AVID follower of the Pablog.
I met Pablo’s papa, Jeff in the giraffe elevator at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles one night after I had been volunteering for CoachArt. He asked me what CoachArt was and then told me about Pablo. I found the blog and foundation website that night when I went home and I was hooked. I will never forget the day that I read the “No more Fighting” post – I have tears in my eyes as I type this, that is how real and fresh it is in my mind. Pablo was six years and six days old when he left this life. His memorial was PACKED with people, this little boy’s light shined SO bright and changed SO many people, all in six years and six days.
Pablo’s life and fight and the story of his family changed my life. It was a big part of my move into the non-profit world. It challenged me to be the change that I want to see in the world and I am eternally grateful for their courage and willingness to share their story! Every day I see Pablo’s smile up on my cork-board at work (as evidenced below) and that sweet moppy hair and bow tie remind me why I come to work every day!
In honor of Pablo’s fight and so many others, Jeff and his team embark on a massive bike tour each year to raise awareness and much-needed funds for pediatric cancer. Pablove Across America is in its last 2 days and they are SO close to their fund raising goal. I ask that you take a moment and read this post that Jeff out up today (I have included it below so that you can just read it here). It is the eloquent voice of a papa who lost his son to cancer and an explanation of how he has chosen to deal with it. It is truly inspiring!!!
If you can, please donate and help Jeff make his goal. Even if it is a dollar or 5 bucks, every bit counts. And if you click on the link and it says that they made their goal, donate anyway because every penny goes to an amazing organization that will help fund research that will save the lives of so many amazing kids like Pablo. Well if you have been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I could go on and on (as I often do) about Pablo and his amazing family, but I will stop now and let Jeff do the rest of the talking…
Posted on the Pablog today:
Help Me Help Cancer Kids. I Must Hit 100% For Pablove Across America
Everyone has their motivations. Everyone is, more or less, rolling toward some goal, some place, some eventual end. That's the great promise of human life, isn't it?
My motivation, my goal, my place, my end is a little boy named Pablo. That's him in the photo up there.
Jo Ann carried this little being in her womb for nine months. The creature inside her was named Pablo when he was born into this world, on Saturday June 21 2003. I was excited to be a papa. I had no idea what I was in store for. The boy who was my son, this Pablo character, was so much more than I ever dreamed.
Even before he could speak or walk Pablo shined so much light on us, we'd have trouble going to sleep at night. He was the greatest little brother to Grady. He was the greatest son to me and Jo Ann. He was fun and funny. He spoke Spanish before he spoke English. For a time, we had to speak certain words in Spanish in order to communicate effectively with him. 'Beso. Aqui. Mano. Zapato.' As he got older, Pablo invented a new fashion style for himself every few weeks. You remember: green frog rain boots, suits, bow ties, pirate style, prison style, and all manner of cycling caps, including, as evidenced in this photo, his Mike and the Bike cap and matching socks.
I could write about Pablo until the Pablove Across America peloton reaches Solvang this afternoon. It really comes down to three words: Pablo was Pablo. That simple. It still is, really. Anyone who ever met Pablo knows this. If you never met Pablo, trust me. I wouldn't mischaracterize facts about my son. Even a year after his passing, the little dude abides.
Jo Ann, Grady and I love him so much that sometimes nothing in our lives makes sense. It gets hard to love someone you can't hold in your arms. There's nothing harder in the human experience than losing your little brother. Nothing that will shatter you more than a being you carried in your womb passing away before you. And after a long, protracted battle in a f***ing hospital. Nothing.
I had many, many dreams for my son. For a start, I never wanted him to be hungry, or to go to bed sad or alone. You always want a better life for your child than you had growing up. If there's any bit of the American dream left, that's it. At least for me it was.
Funny, until I wrote those words, I'd never imagined all this 'dream' stuff. Looking at my words in the paragraph above, I'd add one other item to that list: I never wanted my son to suffer through cancer treatment. I never wanted to navigate my arms through I.V. tubes as I held him in my arms at night. I never wanted to see Jo Ann so sad she could crumble. Never. And the invitation to the cancer family must have gotten lost in the mail. Cos, suddenly, there we were. And we never got to leave. There is no exit for me and Jo Ann. We are here, always. We accept this. We have no choice.
Having no choice is one of the great motivators I've found in life. When it comes to our work with The Pablove Foundation our experience and our loss fuels the whole operation. No matter how hard I push myself on the bike, it's a comedy compared to what Pablo went through and 10,000 other kids go through every day. At least I have words for my suffering. Pablo was only five. He couldn't tell us what he was going though emotionally, psychologically, cosmically. When I focus on this, I could do damage to any wall, anywhere, in any room I am in while contemplating it. I hate that cancer made my son suffer. I do not understand it.
My motivation on the bike is to contribute—greatly—to pediatric cancer research, and to aid children and families who are where Pablo, Jo Ann, Grady and I have been.
It's that simple.
If you want to join this fight, help me bridge the gap between 84% and 110%.
Please click here and make a contribution to my Pablove Across America fundraising page.
Thank you for taking the time to read my friends!! Be sure to follow Pablog and like Pablove on facebook!! Be inspired! Be the change you want to see in the world!!!