Yesterday (September 17, 2022), our family participated in the Colorado Brain Tumor Walk and Race at Denver’s Sloan Lake. After learning about the annual event, I asked our four sons (Josh, Adam, Aaron, and Jordan) and their wives (Rachael, Rachel, Candice, and Kayla) if they would be interested in supporting this fundraiser. Without exception, all agreed to take part. Less than a month ago, we joined the roster using the name Keep Moving; No Regrets.
We asked for T-shirt design suggestions. Our youngest son, Jordan, requested that the Hebrew letters— chet and yud be included. When these two letters are combined, they spell the word, chai. Chai is the numerical equivalent for the number 18 and is the Hebrew word for life. Ira and I decided to place these letters inside a hamsa, a popular Kabbalist amulet.
Our daughter-in-law Candice, took on the task of designing a T-shirts that included all of the pertinent information along with chai inside a hamsa.
As of yesterday’s tabulations, we had raised $17,863.81. The Bornstein family had the second highest amount of donations. With our help, the organization was able to surpass their goal of $140,000. Today’s total is $171,491.70.
Remaining Active and Living Without Regrets
From the time of Ira’s diagnosis of glioblastoma in July 2020, he has insisted on remaining active. Within 24-hours of his craniotomy, he was on his feet and walking in the hospital. Our commitment to establishing a walking routine started in the hospital and continues to this day. Time and weather permitting, we set aside at least 30 minutes every day to walk and a few times a month to hike on metro Denver and Summit County trails, as well as in places throughout the world.
Unlike incurable cancer patients who struggle with their mortality, Ira wants to move forward and embrace life. Within no time, I started planning trips to places near and far. At each destination, I include an assortment of experiences— both mundane and novel. It is vital for Ira to have a variety of diverse experiences in a multitude of ecosystems before any symptoms of glioblastoma limit his day-to-day abilities. When we are not traveling, we enjoy our life in Colorado, which includes spending time with family and friends. Neither one of us wants to have any regrets in the future. We pack as much as we can into each day and remain grateful for everything that we are able to do together.
Despite the challenges we have faced during the last 2+ years, Ira and I remain determined to fight this aggressive cancer with all our resources. From daily walks to a plethora of lifestyle choices, we know that it is essential to take a full-court press approach. The Colorado Brain Tumor Walk and Race on September 17 is just one example of how we are taking a multi-tiered approach.
NBTS Colorado Participants
More than 700 participants came out for the event which raised more than $171,000. A small number of people opted for the longer 5K run while the vast majority of people chose a more leisurely option to stroll around the 2+ mile lake.
The 3rd place team, lead by John Klitzke, participated in the run. Like Ira, John is also waging a battle against glioblastoma. Another noteworthy race participant was Alejandro Rosales, a long-time friend of our third son, Aaron. While we realize that most people who are not directly affected by this cancer will not attend the event, we were honored to have Kay and Cary Schachter fly from Dallas, Texas to walk with our family. Ira met Kay when he was a student at the University of Colorado in the early 1970s.
Setting an Example for our Grandchildren
Through our example, we hope that our six grandchildren will see the importance of tzedakah (commonly translated as charity, but Jewish tradition translates the word as righteous behavior) and the willingness to try to make a difference. By asking our four sons and their wives to reach out to others for support, we hope that their contacts will become more aware of the people suffering with incurable brain cancer and the need to raise funds for lifesaving research.
Our sons did an incredible job! The Top Ten list of highest earning participants included three of our four sons, along with our efforts.
The National Brain Tumor Society estimates that a little less than 90,000 Americans will be diagnosed with a primary brain tumor in 2022, with most cases being nonmalignant. However, for the smaller number of glioblastoma patients who face grim statistics of a five-year survival rate of 6.8%, the need for more funding is immediate.
Far too many families around the world have had to deal with this expensive and devastating disease. Even though Ira has been extremely fortunate to maintain his quality of life, the vast majority experience debilitating repercussions from the tumor(s), craniotomy, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments. Two years after diagnosis, statistics estimate that only 25% of glioblastoma patients have survived.
To shine a light on brain cancer and the event, Channel 7 News shared our story with their audience. Summit Daily News ran two stories— Lessen the Stress: A Comprehensive, Holistic Approach to Care Helps Improve Cancer Outcomes and Reader Share Their Cancer Stories as Part of The Longevity Project, West Arvada Orthodontics promoted on their Facebook page (@westarvadaortho), and the Boulder Jewish News mentioned the event on their website. Whenever possible, I continue to share useful tips and miscellaneous information for the glioblastoma and incurable cancer population on my For Glio page.
If you have yet to contribute, we hope you will consider donating before the end of the year. Here is a link to our fundraising page.
Sandy Bornstein is the author of 100 Things to Do in Boulder Before You Die. The book offers an easy way to pinpoint your best options in this sunny, high altitude college town. Sandy’s second book, May This Be the Best Year of Your Life highlights her living and teaching adventure in Bangalore, India. She was a licensed Colorado teacher who taught K-12 students in the United States and abroad. Sandra also taught college-level courses at Front Range Community College and the University of Colorado-Boulder.
In addition to reviewing books and interviewing authors, Sandra is an award-winning author and lifestyle and travel journalist. Many of Sandra’s travel stories appear on the For Readers Page. To follow Sandra and Ira’s travel adventures, visit TheTravelingBornsteins website.