Dear Friends, Family and Members of the Community,
Each year, on my way home during the holidays, I notice a gradual progression in the number of homes displaying colorful lights and brightly lit ornaments. This is my cue that the holidays are approaching and families will be uniting to celebrate all that is good in their lives. As I drive past the beautiful decorations, I think about my family and can't wait to get home to see them. Soon enough, I walk through my front door to a warm welcome that only a family can give. As we approach another holiday season and bring 2012 to an end, family, celebration, presents, giving, Santa Claus, Jingle Bells are just some of the words that come to mind. The smell of apple cider, the crackling of the fire, and spending time with the family adds warmth to the season as the nights become cooler.
Over the past weeks, on my drive home, I have not been thinking about my family but have been preoccupied thinking about Tony Sowers and his family, namely Olivia, his 4 year old daughter. Here is why, as many of you already know.
Tony Sowers is the epitome of a firefighter; strong, courageous, willing to put his life on the line to save others. He is also a beloved son, a best friend, a life partner, and a Super Dad to Olivia Grace Sowers. In March 2011, at the age of thirty-five, Tony was diagnosed with Subungual Melanoma, an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer, for which there is no known cure, and the prognosis is dim. His family was told he had six months to a year to live. That was over a year ago, and Tony is still fighting for his life. To date, he has undergone five surgeries, three rounds of radiation, and four intense rounds of biochemotherapy... all in the hopes of winning his toughest battle, so that he can continue to be Super Daddy to Olivia.
My breath was taken away during a conversation I had with Tony where he shared the depth of his love for his daughter Olivia with me. It reminded me of my love for my daughter and son. During our conversation we discussed our high school experience and moved on to education in general. From our conversation it was clear to me that as a father Tony was concerned about his daughter's education. Then all of a sudden, while we were talking, he was interrupted by the pain caused by his last radiation therapy and he started the next few sentences with "I wish". My visit was soon coming to an end and as I got in the car to drive home, I realized that during this truly difficult time, there should be a glimpse of light. That one conversation inspired this webpage.
This letter is written in the hopes that we come together to support a goal that epitomizes the old adage "It takes a village, to raise a child". I am speaking to the village... so please hear me out.
As you are aware, college is getting more and more expensive every year. Yes, Olivia has not even started the first grade but hey, it's never too early to plan, right? Our goal is to raise money toward Oliva's college tuition and we need your support. We need to start from somewhere. Let's let Tony know that he need not be concerned and the village is ready to put some of his concerns at ease during this difficult time. Please join me to make this goal a reality by clicking Contribute to show your support! If you prefer to show your support via a check instead, please mail to:
New York's 529 Advisor Guided College Savings Program
1324 El Camino Real
Belmont, CA 94002