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Sunday
Sep292013

What a Week!!

It began with a yacht party and ended with Las Vegas, with a successful event that raised $52,000 in between. Dear readers, it was a hell of a week for your buddy WunderGlo. Let’s start from the beginning.

We had a blast on The White Light, the yacht I rented for my 3 year cancer anniversary. I had about 35 of some of my favorite people aboard with me, so I was literally surrounded by loved ones: friends from childhood, high school buddies, O’Melveny colleagues, my USC Norris crew, and many others – all near and dear to my heart. I stripped down to my brand-spankin’ new string bikini for most of the cruise, prompting my childhood best friend Nick to urge me to “put on some clothes” before we took pictures, which was endlessly hilarious to both of us. My other friend for over 20 years, Anna, had a ring pop that she shared with me, and my law school best friend Morgan made sure to make the innocent act of licking a ring pop into some slightly racy pictures (ha!). I recalled the glory days during a huge case I was on with my colleague/partner/mentor at my firm, Mark, and talked about Coachella with my other colleague/partner/mentor at my firm, Seth. My high school best friend, Erin, made sure I continued to eat during the cruise, hand-feeding me grapes like I was a king. I took a ton of pictures with my best friend from O’Melveny, Tim, who had rallied to join us on the cruise since he usually gets crazy seasick (but he didn’t this time). I broke it down and danced to some sick hip hop music with my girl Tracy, and had a blast posing for pictures taken by my main man, Jordan. And, of course, my devoted and loving three nurses – my mom, my dad, and Will – were there, soaking it all up, too. It was a perfect day.

Once we docked, it was back to business, since the Foundation’s big annual dinner was on Thursday night. I’m pretty sure I worked about 15 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, taking care of every last detail to ensure that the event was a success. I had a ton of help in doing a lot of the legwork, which was huge. But the program, the speech, the silent auction organization, and the recruiting of attendees was up to me for the most part. We’d worked hard on the event for months, and by the time Thursday morning rolled around, I was focused on what we needed to do but very confident that everything would run smoothly.

It did. We wound up hosting 200 people at our 2nd Annual annette cook Cancer Warrior Awards, and we wound up raising $52,000 (over 40K netted after costs). More importantly, we honored some incredibly deserving people, especially my sweet friend, Annette. As you guys know by reading the blog, Annette passed away at the end of last year, and it’s been hard for everyone who loves her. It’s been really hard for me. The emotions are still incredibly raw, and I can get tears for my girl at the drop of a hat. She was truly my best friend in the cancer world, and there’s no denying that life is less beautiful without her around. I made it a point to honor Annette by renaming our event and showing a special tribute film we made for her, and her husband Stan, who is also on the Foundation’s Board of Directors, brought a whole crew of family and friends to be there to receive the honor. It was emotional and special, and I know my dear friend was smiling up in Heaven.

We also honored my friend Alla, another patient at Norris and a close friend who passed away in April. I almost got through my speech about her without crying, but as I hit my last couple of lines, I couldn’t help but get choked up. Alla was an incredible stud, a stunningly brilliant attorney, and a wonderful human being. I’m proud of the fact that we paid tribute to her and gave her a posthumous Cancer Warrior Award.

We recognized other amazing people who continue to fight cancer and do it in incredible ways. Ironwoman Teri Griege, ESPN anchor Stuart Scott, and Meredith’s Miracles Colon Cancer Foundation – inspiring people who make a huge impact by their efforts every day. Our honorees were so gracious and kind, and I know that they blew away our audience with their achievements and heart.

The event was poignant and powerful, and I’m so proud to have been at the helm of it. I couldn’t have done it without the help of our Board and Ad Board and my friends and family, and I’m so grateful for their help in helping me envision and achieve the goals of our Foundation.

As if the yacht and the event didn’t already make for a killer week, I took off with my mom the very next day to meet up with Jordan and my friend Jake in San Diego. My friend Max Frost was opening at the House of Blues, and Jordan had scored us backstage access. It was my first time backstage and in the green room, and it was sweet. My mom and I sprung for the Omni Hotel, so we returned from the concert to a pretty fancy pants hotel with the most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept in.

The next day (yesterday), we took off for Vegas, and that’s where we are now. Given all the great times we’ve had in the past week, I think it’s safe to say that we’re feeling pretty lucky right now. I’m feeling pretty lucky every day.

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