Saturday, February 23, 2013

Benefit and Birthday wrap up (Finally)

After another 2 week hiatus and I apologize.  I have been exceptionally busy on the weekends and I have no internet access while I stay in LA aside from my phone.  Today I finally get to give a full report on the event we had at Detroit Bar and my birthday weekend which was both hard and amazing.  The third part of this post will be an explanation of my 'new life.'  There are things that have been set in motion that are now trains and will become very hard to stop.  To say this experience has changed my life is both cliche and an extreme understatement at the same time.  So lets start with the event that was on 2/9.

HOLY SHIT.  Thats all I can say about that.  I am STILL utterly shocked, amazed, awed, inspired, motivated, grateful, moved and touched by ALL the support that was shown.  There were close to 430 people who eventually passed through the doors of the place at one time or another.  I was scared, absolutely petrified that it was going to be a waste of time and nobody would show and it was going to be a waste of everyones love and effort who helped organize it.  I was wrong.  Very wrong.  The first good sign was when they put presale tickets up and nearly 150 were sold in less than a week!  I showed up a bit late, I was having trouble finding a ride, but upon my arrival around 8:45 there was already A LINE of people in the parking lot waiting to get in.  I was speechless and literally nearly cried.  To see so many people who truly care about you and want to help you is the most moving thing I have ever experienced.  I wish that everybody could have felt the feeling I had when I saw all of those people, it was unexplainable and it was amazing.  I was told not to hug anyone and avoid people as much as I could- I didn't listen.  I hugged everyone I could find and I think I kissed a few too.  I didn't care, at that moment all I cared about was showing how much I appreciated EVERYONE who came out.  The night was a HUGE success and the greatest testament to the people I surround myself with.  There were people I hadn't seen in close to 15 years who came from distances as far as Oregon just to be there.  There were plenty of people I did not know, but everyone there knew me through someone I was friends with.  I try my hardest to only surround myself with genuine and humble people...  Well after Saturday night (and I think and you guys can agree who were there,) I might have the best group of friends in the world.  There were drinks, there were laughs and even some tears, but when it was over and I was wellllllllll past my bed time I knew I was going to get through this with those people who were there that night standing strong right beside me.  My blood counts were low and I was risking getting sick with every hug and every second I spent there, but I did not care one bit.  I somehow knew I would be fine and I was.  I woke up the next morning STILL trying to wrap my head around how little 'ol Ryan could draw in a crowd of nearly 450 people- and then I realized it was all of you.  The people in my life are epic, not me.  You all make me who I am and help shape me as a person!  I draw my inspiration from you all and it feeds my desire and determination to beat this monster (and that is exactly what I am currently doing!!!!!!)

I need to thank a few people again, and make sure you guys truly know how much I appreciate you all in my life.  The people who were the organizers and purveyors of the event.  Leah, Jessica, Anthony, Lindsay and my partner in crime Natashia.  You guys were astounding and I still can't figure out where half of the awesome prizes came from.  You guys took the lead and made an astounding night of fun, entertainment and humanitarianism all in one.  I honestly can never thank you guys enough, but I will most certainly try.  I love you all like a fat kid loves cake!!

To everyone who donated things, you guys made this even possible and made spending a little bit of money even more worth it.  Without your donations (and this list is huuuuuuge) we would not have raised nearly as much as we did!  I hope one day you all will one day depend on me for something and allow me to repay you in some way.  I love you all like Willy Wonka Loves chocolate.

To the bands, David and the DJ-  You guys simply fucking rock. Period. I now have 3 new favorite bands and I am pretty sure I believe in magic now...  EVERYONE needs to check out Restavrant   Restavrant's Facebook!,  RT N the 44's   RT N the 44's Facebook Page and Dano Forte's Juke Joint Freak Show  Dano Forte's Juke Joint Freak Show Facebook! and if you see wanna see some legit magic, do yourself and check out David Bonfadini at  David Bonfadini the epic magician! -  how many MAGICIANS do you know that are sponsored by Rockstar Energy Drink??  Well now you know one.

And thank you to Detroit for allowing us to rough up your bar a little and hopefully not leave it too worse for the wear.  Detroit bar is an awesome place for GREAT music and I can say I have stumbled into there on more than a few occasions and come out with a new band obsession.  They are constantly booking great bands that rock the place and most any day of the week you can find some good tunes with stiff drinks.

Thanks to everyone who helped out in anyway!  There were probably another 30 people who helped with the photos, selling, organizing, raffle, and countless other things.  You all know who you are and I thank you and tip my hat to you all.  I love you all like a dog loves his bone.

The night was a huge success and we raised around $12,000.00.  Thats right, our little group of friends in one small area of Orange County was able to rally together and raise over $12,000.00.  This is just the beginning of what is to come.  Like I said, this has changed my life in more ways than I could ever explain and going forward I plan on helping to change other people's lives with all of your help.  I will tell you more about that at a later date, right now I want you all to realize what you did.  You helped save a life.  You all gave me another shot at LIVING, the most basic and important part of life is to be alive and now I feel like I have a future that wont be littered with 100k in medical bills swamping me and not ever being able to get out of debt.  For all of you, I like to think this was no sweat off your back and I hope you had as much fun as I did.  Think about that, you were able to change someone's life while having a great time, meeting new people, re-aquatinting old friends and seeing some awesome bands.  Who would have thought changing someone's life was as easy as a typical Friday night out with friends?!?!  Just sayin...

Thanks again for that epic night and you all are the true heroes.


My birthday!  The day I turned 28.  For a second there wasn't sure if I was going to make it, but here we are!  We initially planned on going out on Saturday, but unfortunately my body had other ideas.  I had an early morning appointment of chelation therapy to help clean my blood which put me on my ASS for the duration of the day.  I could neither keep my eyes open long enough, nor eat a smidgen so my actual birthday was spent on a couch.  BUT, the following day I was not going to let this hold me back.  I woke up feeling equally as terrible, but I did not care.  I forced and willed myself to feel better and after a while I was.  A group of astounding friends and I ate an awesome dinner at True Foods in Fashion Island.  This is an amazing restaurant which serves natural, organic and fresh food at the most reasonable prices imaginable.  They have juices that are nearly irresistible and torture for someone who is no longer allowed to eat fruit since fruit sugar is my ultimate enemy at the moment!  We laughed, ate and had our own little private room.  It was great to be with friends I care about and not being on a couch was like euphoria to me!  Thank you to all of my friends who came out, and even those who were over an hour late (no names ;).  It was truly the most memorable birthday I have EVER had, I will never forget that night, our drinks at Muldoons, the laughs and the company.  You guys became a part of my life that will live on in my memory as long as my radiated and infected brain will retain the thought.  xo

Check the link below for an awesome array of photos thanks to the epically talented Leanna!  If you EVER need an amazing photographer check her out at  Leanna Jean Photo

Pictures from the show!!!!

If you were at the show, you know I had a little 'speech' I wrote out which I ended up no being able to read at all.  Well here it is if you are still interested :)

+It is going to be extremely hard to not be overly cliche and predictable in situations like these, but I'm going to try. 

I have been through a lot in the past few months and I've seen a lot in this life, good bad beautiful horrific Inspiring and everything in between. My time in africa showed me just how desolate and absolutely brutal life can be and my time with my friends and family doing amazing things has showed me how beautiful, awesome and utterly astonishing life can be.  I'm now in a new group, the so called cancer family. The one family that not a single person in their right mind wants to be a part of. I didn't chose this, but if it was between me and any of you I would bear this burden 1000 times over. For me, seeing the ones I love suffer is far more painful than going through it myself. I see children, CHILDREN a fifth of my age going through treatment. They are battered, bruised and some you can tell just wont make it. But they fight. They fight like they are trained and experienced veterans of life and all it has to offer.  Seeing things up close will change your perspective on life.  It is one thing seeing a TV commercial or hearing about people that are in need, but seeing it in your face will change you, I guarantee.

We all base our lives on perspective. It is impossible to deny this and to what degree each person does this is largely based on what they have experienced. To be more clear, you all feel bad for me and that is amazing and I can not thank you all enough, but there are people far more worse off than I. I ask you all to do what you are doing now. You are helping me in a way you will never really know and I can't ever explain, but I ask you to continue on. There are so many amazing organizations, hospitals and non profits and PEOPLE that need endless amounts of help. I don't care what it is, where it is or how often you do it. Just help others! If you think you have the strength go to a children's hospital and volunteer, do it. It will only take you a second to understand why I say if you think you are strong enough. If that does not change your perspective and appreciation for life, you probably should check for a pulse.  This, us here now is a testament to the power of the human spirit and our will and desire to help others in need. Maybe this is your first fund raiser maybe it's your 100th. Either way you now see just how easy it is to change a life…  TO help save a life.  If its your first, I hope this is a catalyst for you to start doing your part for the rest of the people who need a little help.   If it is your 100th, keep going.  I honestly can not thank you all enough and I never will be able to, but what I promise is that I will fight with all that I have.  I will exhaust every option and be a force for change.  You are all on the winning team now, and I hope you continue on this journey with me and allow me to one day repay you all. 

If you read my blog you know I usually end with a quote that I find funny or relate to what I talk about. I have tried my hardest to keep religion out of this because I neither want to offend or stray people in one way or another, but I think this quote by one of the greatest warriors and leaders the world has ever known is un biased and relative to a life worth living. 
Marcus arelius said, "Live a good life.  If there are gods and they are just, they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by.  If there are Gods, but unjust, you should not want to worship them.  If there are no gods, then you will be gone.. but you will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones."

Ryan xo

The Birthday Crew!

Stay tuned, next week I will be sharing some fun and exciting things!!

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Ryan! This is Caitlin, John Hawekotte's sister. I know you already have tons and tons of people who care about you and are rooting for you, but I just wanted you to know you have one more. I'm so happy Megan shared the link to your blog. Not to be cliche, but it's truly inspirational and I'm so thankful to be reading it. Thank you for sharing your journey.