By Julie Buehler
When you’re fighting cancer and seeking out hope to live another day, your future melts into endless voices of doctors, a new job as a human pin-cushion and painful chemicals surging through your veins, day after day after day. The future becomes a dreadful reality of uncertainty.
And if you’re a kid, you’d better grow up fast. You’re told if you go outside to play, your compromised immune system, the one being pounded mercilessly with chemotherapy, will be further challenged, dangerously so, so you can’t play.
You’re told sports become an activity for other kids, everyone else lucky enough to not draw the short stick of cancer as a kid, but not you. So you can’t play.
You’re told, as a kid with cancer, that tomorrow isn’t a reality until you survive today; the needles, the flood of doctors’ voices, the burning chemical reaction searing your veins to kill off a disease you know can end your young life.
And while most kids with cancer are told what they can’t do because their life depends on it, one organization raises money to make sure kids with cancer know what they CAN do, because their life depends on THAT: Hope.
The 17th Annual Will Powered Golf Classic hosted by Will Ferrell came to Bighorn Golf Club on March 3rd and raised more than $300,000 in it’s first day of events.
Ferrell, Hollywood’s funny man, said offering humor and a vision for a future is the key to Cancer for College, an organization started by his fraternity brother, Craig Pollard, a 2-time cancer survivor himself.
Cancer for College awards hundreds of college scholarships every year to kids that have survived the dreadful disease and want to attend college. To date, Cancer for College has offered more than $2 million in scholarships.
While at USC, Ferrell watched his fraternity brother, Pollard, drop out of the Trojan baseball program and take on cancer for a second bout, this time it was “far more serious” as the disease was in stage 4 and Pollard required heavy rounds of treatment. But Pollard survived, and told himself, if he makes it, he’ll “change the world.”
The first golf tournament, before Ferrell got involved, was 21 years ago, when Pollard, realizing the need to offer kids with cancer hope of a future, set out to do just that. He raised $500.
Once Ferrell graduated and found his footing in entertainment, he and Pollard teamed up, Pollard says Ferrell “put all his resources, contacts and time into this event” from the get-go and fast-forward 17 years, Pollard is changing the world one cancer survivor at a time.
Ferrell and Pollard came on my show Monday and discussed the incredible impact the growth of his career has had on the growth of this charity and what a profound difference it makes for a kid with cancer to hope for college because that helps them to think beyond the pain of tomorrow’s treatment, beyond the scars of the surgeries and into a reality they can sculpt themselves.
You can hear the entire interview at www.team1010.com, click on the podcast page.
Ferrell was as genuine and kind-hearted as he is funny. It was great to meet him and see the passion in his eyes for this charity and watch how others chose to give to a great cause because he had given so much to it as well.
The entire Desert Smash event, the 10th Annual that happened March 3-4 was to benefit Cancer for College. So the golf tournament, the tennis exhibition and Nelly and Boyz II Men at Agua Caliente all donated proceeds to this great cause.
If you’d like to find out more about Cancer for College and their next events, go to CancerForCollege.org.
Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 3-6 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 3-6 pst at www.team1010.com or watch the show on Ustream.