Bravery & Defiance: a Response


Death. We all know it’s coming for us, but none of us know when. In January, I lost a beloved friend and loved one. The ocean literally rose up and took him away. It was breathtakingly sudden and impossible.

Today, one of the things in my inbox was this post from AJ Leon, about Liz Strauss and her battle with throat cancer. I had the great honor to meet Liz in person at Blogworld LA in 2012, where we I discovered that we were also both part of the tall women club:


In his writing, AJ speaks movingly of Liz’s bravery and defiance in the face of her battle. Liz and Terry have a well-known and well regarded event yearly called SOBCon. I’ve never been able to go, but many of my favorite people attend every year, and I’ve long known that something special was happening there.

Here’s what AJ had to say about Liz’s event:

“SOBcon is more than the sum of it’s production, it is Liz and Terry’s Magnum Opus. Their great work.

The week Liz was diagnosed with throat cancer last Fall, she sent Terry this text message.

Yes, I have cancer. No, we are not canceling SOBcon.”

Liz continues her battle with cancer. My thoughts will continue to be with her.

My thoughts are also with another family this week. This is a photo of baby Easton Friedel:


Easton was born with a rare genetic condition called Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). It causes his skin to be incredibly fragile, and he blisters at the lightest touch. At present, there is no cure for this condition. His pain is controlled somewhat by medication, but his family is in urgent need of our ongoing support and assistance. You can donate toward baby Easton’s care and to help his family here.

I learned of baby Easton and many others like him, people in need of our love and support, through an amazing project called Hopemob. The site features many people with extraordinary stories, and helps us use social media and other technologies to collect together the people and the resources to help.

I don’t know why these things happen. Sudden death of a beautiful man in the prime of his life. Illness and pain in a woman who brings so much good to the world. Pointless suffering in the birth of a child who is destined to live in constant pain unless some unknown cure is found for his condition.

Nevertheless, like Liz, I will choose bravery and defiance in the face of these troubles. I will continue to work for the betterment of all sentient beings and to lessen suffering in the world.

Will you join me?


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