The Crew. (left) Sandra, me and Dr. Babak Darvish (ARM Co founder and HIBM patient). (right) Cara before leaving for her plane. She was the Gala's Mistress of Ceremonies, HIBM Patient and my dear friend from across the world.
I'm purely exhausted. The Gala went well and the trip was productive. We are now driving back to San Fran and will probably arrive at 1am. Jason and my eyes are closing, so we stopped for one of those energy shots so we can do the drive. I'm typing on my iPhone, so this won't be a long post.
It's hard enough dealing with a condition that keeps progressing, but then going after your own cure, dealing with small organization that receives little donations due to the disease not being popular enough, the struggle, politics and all the frustrations...I give the Darvish family (founders of ARM) an award for not giving up. There are very few that make up ARM and at times it becomes easy to lose faith, because of the lack of help or interest. We are not wealthy, of status or of name, just a few that can see what is and what can be achieved; a cure. I'm a patient, but a friend to the Darvishes and I observe their most intimate day to day life. Everything to them is ARM/HRG (non profit molecular lab), getting to the finish line of the cure at hand and there is NO break. I see the pure physical and emotional exhaustion, their dedication and their sincere hope that one day people will follow their example, step in, give a hand, in whichever way they can, and be a part of it. It's not enough for me to give a pat on the back and say, "good job, I appreciate all your hard work...", so that is why I try and help as much as I can, because all their hopes are my hopes. This is not a hobby or me "giving back", but life. I believe that you can't wait for hope, but you have to make it happen and be an example before expecting others to care. Nothing is free in life. It's not physically and emotionally easy for me to "care", but I know it's not easy for them, too. Later, I'll post a gala album later and share how the event went. :)
(bottom left) My new friend, Bradley. Bradley is Cara's friend and because he didn't want her to be in LA alone, he did a surprise fly in to support her that weekend. Cara was our mistress of ceremonies and HIBM patient that flew in from Shanghai for the event. She and Bradley only recently met at Graduate school in Bologna, Italy. He was an invaluable source of help and support and I was so grateful to him for being there for her. It is hard to find good friends and sometimes to BE a good friend, but he was amazing. That weekend was the first time I met him, but I already loved him for being there for her. It is not easy to be there alone, but having a cheerleader in your corner always makes it better.
(right) HRG staff (HIBM Research Group, non profit molecular Lab)