On Thursday, June 7th, David, Peter and I attended The One Hundred gala. Our dear friend Melinda joined our little party, and the four of us were fortunate enough to be seated at the same table as Alice (Dr. Shaw) and her husband Stan.
It was an amazing as well as highly emotional evening; a night not only to honor one hundred individuals and organizations, but also an important fundraiser for the Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Actor Matt Damon kicked off the program, just one of several charming and well spoken presenters to take the podium. As the guests enjoyed dinner, large screens displayed a rotating gallery of the honorees. Peppered amongst the presentations were special tributes to a handful of those nominated, including Dr. Shaw.
I was given the privilege of reading a prepared narration for this sequence, which had been recorded several weeks earlier. In addition, photographs of Dr. Shaw and myself in clinic were edited together with earlier images from my journey. Diagnosis, the summer I almost lost hope, and the moment hope rushed back in. And, of course, the integral role Alice (Dr. Shaw) has played throughout: in essence a very public love letter to Alice from one very gratified patient. I was smiling hard through the tears.
Of course, ours was only one of a hundred inspirational stories that evening. Cancer may be a formidable foe, but the human spirit remains indomitable and everyday heroes abound. In fact, if you know someone who is trying to make a difference in the war against cancer and you would like to have them recognized, nominations are already open for next year.