Friday, November 11, 2011

Josh, Where Have You Been?

I've been here, I've been there, I've been everywhere...

I won't apologize for taking a break from blogging, but this post should explain why I did for so long, what I've been up to, and why you'll have to wait until December for consistent blogs again.

• I can't believe I'm about to say this, but thank goodness for that long stint of IV antibiotics over the summer, otherwise I don't know if I would have came out from the sadness and chaotic nature of my father's death in very good shape...physically, at least. Mentally I still struggle, but that is a very healthy part of grieving and I'm taking the steps (forward and backward) toward emotional peace. It's a long journey and one that I may never fully finish.

• I recorded a podcast with Jerry Cahill this past summer that should air sometime this month. Jerry is a well known and highly respected member of the CF Community and it was great to meet him in person. The two things I took away from my time with Jerry were:

1. He's a regular guy. He takes his responsibility as a role model in the CF Community seriously, but he doesn't let it change who he is. Humility and respectfulness go a long way with me and Jerry has ample amounts of both qualities. My favorite thing he said to me was "Josh, you're a goofball...and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible." That's certainly one way to describe me and if that's how people will remember me when I'm gone, I'm okay with it. :-)

2. Our conversation was interesting because this topic hadn't been addressed before in any of his previous podcasts. You'll learn things about me that you may not know and hear my honest thoughts on a very difficult topic. It's been so long that I don't really remember everything I said, but I know that I shared my thoughts the way I always do...with honesty, love, and the utmost respect for everyone's personal journey with CF. I'll post the podcast on here when it airs.

• I've been going in for weekly infusions of liquid vitamins to see if they will raise my very low vitamin levels. It's too early to tell if things are working, but I'm confident that they will help my already ultra sensitive immune system battle cold and flu season. As with everything else in the CF world, it's a matter of trial and error until you find the right fit. Cross your fingers for me.





• A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being the keynote speaker at the "Breathe and Believe Benefit Dinner" for the Christopher Ricardo CF Foundation in Miami, FL. I introduced CFvoice.com's "Breathe Song Event" and shared my thoughts on the optimistic reality of my life and the future of the CF Community. The DeVito and Ricardo Families gave me warm and gracious welcome. I felt like a part of their family and that I've made really great lifelong friends.

The benefit dinner was a great success and (if I do say so myself) I rocked my speech like nobody's business. I even got on stage afterward and sang "Keep Your Hands To Yourself" with The Urge—a popular "new classic rock band" in the Miami area. I hope to find a video of both the speech and the song eventually (since I forgot my camera at home...doh!). Until then, here's the original version of the song by the Georgia Satellites:




It was also great to meet Gayle Greenberg, CF Mom and Senior Director of Major Gifts for the CF Foundation. We had a very similar message to send that night: We are improving the quality of life and are this close to a cure of this disease, but we still need your help to do it! Thanks for the lovely chat, Gayle.

I received so many complements on my speech and my message which made me feel so proud because I did what I was brought in to do: I shared my story and raised awareness for myself and 70,000+ others just like me across the world. I'll continue to be a part of improving the quality of life and finding a cure for this disease and I'll support any and all causes that benefit the CF Community. Plus, I'd love be able to make a little income for my family too. If you'd like to book me to speak at your events, CF-related or otherwise, please email me at welcometojoshland@gmail.com

Oh, and if you are in the Southern Florida area, I highly suggest you connect with the Christopher Ricardo CF Foundation. They're great people who are passionate about the CF Community and embrace this challenge with realistic optimism. Check them out here:

Christopher Ricardo CF Foundation

LAST, BUT NOT LEAST...

• The Moganko CF Project...I've been working my tail off trying to finish this before December. Honestly, I never thought this "little project" would turn into what it's turned into, but it has. Three original songs—two of which were recorded with Basses Wild Men's A Cappella at Fuzzy Slippers Music Studio— that were created for the CF Community and the world to enjoy. These songs capture the positive energy I wanted to have for this campaign. Plus, it's a simple way to promote CF Awareness that could be huge! Of course, that all depends on you, my friends and readers. When it launches you'll know exactly what you have to do to help me.

By the way, Basses Wild and I will be premiering and performing the songs live at the U of MN CF Center Education Day on November 19th. It's so exciting and nerve racking all at once, but I've always thought if you aren't a little nervous about something, then you must not have a passion for it. Thank goodness for nerves. Months have become weeks. Soon the weeks will become days, hours, minutes and seconds. All I can do is cross my fingers and hope that the future will be as bright as I imagine it will. I've worked hard so on this project that I know it will be great, but a little luck never hurt anyone. :-)

December I'll be back to writing my blog. Not only because I've missed it, but because—as much as I love Moganko—I'm more than just a novice puppeteer. I'm a guy with lots of stories that I want to share...CF and otherwise. Until then, Happy Turkey Day!

Peaceful Things,

Josh

4 comments:

  1. Josh, Great update. Thank you. Glad you're telling the Universe how things are and making life what you want it to be. Can't wait for the podcast. I hope this means Jerry is going to order a Muppet soon and add it to his shows. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you for sharing your family, your love, and your faith of one day finding a cure for a disease that has molded the story you just shared. This week is our CF fundraising week
    at the hospital I work at in Florida. I found your site by looking for inspiration to write an essay for a class I am currently taking.

    The lab I work in is part of the newborn screening program for the CF Foundation and we have the pleasure of meeting so many families such as your own that inspire us everyday.

    Even with this inspiration that I am blessed to be a part of; your stories keep us going to find or help in anyway to find a cure. Thank you and god bless you.

    Jessica

    ReplyDelete
  3. Always proud to be your momma.

    So glad the universe will soon be privy to the amazing "Moganko CF Project". I am not good at keeping secrets, so it will be nice to get this duct tape off my mouth...

    Love, Mom, xoxox

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great updates Josh... thanks for sharing about your overachiever self! ;) I am very excited to see the new Moganko project?! ( and of course those nifty t-shirts)

    ReplyDelete

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