Last week, former Phillies catcher Darren Daulton revealed he was battling two malignant brain tumors, a condition that required almost immediate surgery .
The prognosis for Daulton, like most people who are stricken with Glioblastoma Multiforme, isn’t particularly good. The median range for survival is 14.6 months.
I paid particular attention to the Daulton story when I first saw it because a friend of mine was diagnosed with the same type of brain cancer in October of 2011. Sadly, my friend Dan Karr passed away on September 12, 2012.
Dan left a loving wife and two young boys. Cancer, as I know first-hand since my mother passed away from the disease in 1987, just rages into your family and says, “Here I am!”. There’s often no real warning sign at all. One day you’re walking through the mall, the next day a doctor is telling you it’s cancer.
Dan Karr’s brain cancer just showed up, took over, and eventually won the fight. It was a helluva battle, though, and Dan certainly spent his 11 months with the disease throwing as many punches as he took.
I met Dan at Mountain Branch in roughly 2003. He was an accomplished golfer and a friendly, but fierce competitor. We hit it off right away and played together quite a bit until other interests and his wife and two boys logically guided him away from the club.
We are extraordinarily blessed in Baltimore with numerous outstanding medical facilities. My two children were both born at GBMC, which is just a phenomenal hospital, and I’ve had the fortunate (but unfortunate…) experience of receiving superb treatment at both St. Joseph’s and Franklin Square Hospital over the last decade or so.
Then, of course, there’s Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Back in 2005, we donated the proceeds from our annual charity golf outing to the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins Hospital. I was blessed to be invited in to the facility to watch an actual “study” take place, with a team of two researchers working on mice right there in front of me as they tried to learn more about ALS. It was a memorable occasion and I saw first-hand where our money was used.
As you may or may not know, one of the conditions of the annual WNST charity golf outing that I run is that all monies we donate MUST be used in Baltimore and/or Maryland. I’m proud to say we’ve donated nearly $100,000 in our eight-year run, to places like the Packard Center, the Fuel Fund of Maryland, the Casey Cares Foundation, the Erinn McCarthy Scholarship Fund at Maryvale Prep, and our 2013 recipient, Matt Birk’s H.I.K.E. Foundation.
This year, I feel a certain “pull” back to Johns Hopkins, but this time our money will be used to help research Glioblastoma Multiforme at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at JHH.
The great people at the Kimmel Center who are studying brain cancer and brain tumors (malignant and benign) can really use our support as they continue to produce clinical studies aimed at learning more about Glioblastoma Multiforme.
The money we donate goes directly to research. I think it’s important for all of us to know that. It’s not going toward a new soda machine in the hospital or a fountain where people make a wish and throw pennies into it. Our money won’t help pave a parking lot or anything like that.
But, the (hopefully) $10,000 check we present to the folks at the Kimmel Cancer Center will be used to try and figure out how to beat brain cancer and brain tumors.
The money we raise on October 14 will potentially help save someone’s life next year or in 2017 or maybe in 2025.
If you’d like to join us on October 14 at Mountain Branch, we’d love to have you be part of our special day. If you can’t play golf or don’t play golf, but would still like to help out, I’ll have a variety of ways for you to make a minimal but meaningful donation to our cause. Every dollar we raise counts.
The tournament is $500 per-foursome and includes golf, a cool putting contest brought to you by The Hub/C-Ville Bikes, a chance for you to win a brand new Ford Mustang and a prime rib dinner and awards ceremony after golf. It’s a phenomenal deal for $125 per-person.
I’ve said and written this a lot over the years — this annual golf event we do and the other charitable endeavors we undertake around the holiday season are the REAL contributions we make to our community. Doing sports talk on the radio and writing about sports at WNST.net is fun and we do it better than anyone in town, but helping to make our community better – even if it’s unrelated to sports, per-se – is what our true role is…in my opinion. That we get to bring you along to help is icing on the cake, because without you as listeners and readers, there’d be no forum for us to work from to help people like the Kimmel Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
So, if you can help on October 14, we’d love to have you get involved.
The Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital might save YOUR life someday…or someone’s life you love. Nothing is guaranteed, of course. Just ask Darren Daulton.