A Big Help and Truly Great Man…

In 2008 I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.  At that moment, as first documented in this blog, the family network kicked in as we tried to figure out what this disease was in addition to how and where to get treated.  My father spent my entire life working at CSX and through that connection I was given the phone number for a gentleman with the same disease as me.  I’ll never forget the night I called – I had stayed late at work so that I didn’t have to make the call at home.

The phone rang, was answered, and I got my first chance to talk with Rick Corman.  He was very clear to point out that he had time to talk but he was also enjoying a great plate of barbecue and hoped I didn’t mind if he continued to enjoy as we talked.  I didn’t know what to ask, what to talk about, what to say and it didn’t matter.  Rick had a way of making it all easy….

“I bet there’s a whole lot going through your head right now. (chew, chew, swallow)  What are you thinking about all this?”

From there we just talked.  He explained how he got diagnosed, he explained what he’s going through and he helped me think through what I was doing and what I should do next.  He had his opinions (and he wasn’t afraid to let you know them) but he wanted my thoughts as well.  A few months later he was in New York and asked if we could meet up.  I was still wary about talking about my disease and wary about who to talk with but Rick was just a normal, every day kind of guy would made things…simple.  He also talked to me about what he does to raise money and the drugs he’s been taking – and how the drugs he took (Thalidomide) helped design the drugs I’ve been taking (Revlimid).

Rick put me in touch with Dr R at DFCI.  I was going to say ‘helped me get in touch with…’ but that wouldn’t be right.  He gave me Dr R’s mobile, said call him right now, tell him Rick said to call and then call me back.  Seriously….  That was Rick.  And at some point I felt like I was taking advantage of him, calling him and taking up his time when he had his own “thing” to deal with.  I should have known better, especially after having one of my father’s friends reprimand me for not calling him.  “Rick wants to know how you’re doing…”

I guess part of what I do – with this blog, with my Promoting Global Hair Loss, with just trying to help out all started because of Rick.

Last Friday I went on vacation w/ the kids and another family.  Rick passed away the day we left.  My parents thoughtfully didn’t say anything while we were there and the obit my mother had sent was lost in the email cloud.  I happened upon the news story today and read the obit tonight.  Like a photograph, the obit, or any story about Rick, is only two dimensional – and anyone will tell you Rick was 3D – all the time!   If there’s any doubt, read this article about Rick from Forbes.

Rick – thank you for everything you did – for me, my family and for everyone else you’ve helped enjoy an easier and healthier life.   Here is a link to the obit for those that would like to read more about this wonderful gentleman!