2013 Relay For Life/Oceanside: $102,000 and counting


“I love this plan!
I’m excited to be a part of it…”*

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, Oceanside, CA, USA 2013, has thus far raised more than $102,000 in the fight against cancer. Proud to be a part of something like that…and hey, it’s not over yet: you can still donate through 31st August by clicking here.

* Bill Murray in the movie Ghostbusters

The Relay of Your Life

The TRUPERS at Relay For Life, Oceanside, CA, USA, 04/20/2013

The TRUPERS at Relay For Life, Oceanside, CA, USA, 04/20/2013

Everyone has their causes and things they support, and whatever you do that is positive, you’re making the world a better place. So I’m not here to preach or sell. What I will say is that if you’re looking for a fun, positive, low-pressure event that helps to save lives, I highly recommend the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. I’ve written about it here, here, and here, so I won’t reinvent the wheel in this post, but it is one of the most worthwhile things I’ve ever done. Continue reading

Controversy for the Cure


logo: American Cancer Society's Relay For LifeOne humble opinion about Planned Parenthood’s well-coordinated media war against the Susan G. Komen Foundation: the issue is not that Komen pulled its funding from PP, nor that PP called its pals in the “news” media to tattle on Komen. The issue is that Komen was giving even a dollar to PP, or anyone or anything else, that is not strictly about breast cancer.

Of course, now after the trumped-up media controversy and the requisite/ obligatory “resignation in protest” by a Komen executive (which was followed by several others), Komen is right back in the business of sending money to PP again. Continue reading

“The Run For Your Life”: American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life

[below: “Infinite Love,” living art created by Michelle & Heather Cotrupe in honor of their grandmother, Ramona Cotrupe, on the beach in Oceanside, CA, on a recent 4th of July]

My previous blog entry was about my Mother, Ramona Ann Cotrupe, who joined relatives and friends in Heaven just before Thanksgiving 2011 after a brave 12-year battle with colon cancer. Pretty much whatever I chose to follow it with would be so comparatively trivial as to border on ludicrous.

Except this: an invitation to join me at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life (RFL), 21-22 April 2012, Mira Costa College, Oceanside, CA, USA. This is not a cause we recently adopted after Mom passed away. RFL, which I have joyously referred to as “The Run For Your Life” around those I know best, has been a labor of love for my family since the early 2000s. Continue reading

Ramona Ann Cotrupe, 1935-2011: greatest person I have ever known


It is hard to put into words what most of us feel when we lose a parent. My Mother was the sweetest, kindest, bravest, most caring, considerate, unselfish and pound-for-pound strongest person I have ever known. Life dealt her vastly more than her share of challenges…starting right in her own household with Dad, my brother, and me, and continuing when cancer snuck in like a cowardly thief in the night 12 years ago. Yet from her perpetually smiling face and sunny demeanor you would never know it.

So much of what passes for “conduct” in today’s world is people behaving like idiots. Ready to stomp their fellow human beings if it means being first in line at Starbucks. Braying like burros if one inconveniences their Supreme Highness for a second. My Mom was always about quiet strength, not making a loud spectacle of yourself, putting others first. Over the course of her life, and especially as she waged a 12-year battle with cancer, she endured things a thousand times worse than the complainers will ever see, yet through it all radiated class, grace, and patience they could not begin to comprehend. However, she would always chastise me–and I can feel her giving me her “I disapprove but I still love you” face right now–at the thought of me speaking ill of anyone. She did not throw “Jesus” and “religion” in your face, but she was devoutly religious and more importantly, the way she lived her life was the textbook example of what I believe our Creator put us all on this earth to do. She simply loved everyone. The one thing she would not tolerate? Someone hurting one of us. Do so and you had a small but lethal tornado heading rapidly in your direction.

There has never been anyone quite like my Mother, nor will anyone quite like her ever pass this way again. If you did not know her, you missed a great one…but hopefully through words such as these in venues such as this you can know her at least enough for the warmth of her heart and the power of her love to wash over you and comfort you. That is what she lived for.

I’ve said to family and friends that when I pass from this earth, if I am given serious consideration for Heaven it will only be because Mom pulled a favor with God to get me in. That and, if for reasons unknown (and indefensible) in the cosmos my Mom were not in the company of God in Heaven, then I don’t want to go. I want to be wherever she is.