I am a lecturer and instructional consultant in sustainability, living what I teach as a grand experiment and personal social movement. Along the way I became a radical survivor, enduring poor-prognosis leukemia, multiple rounds of chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and open heart surgery - all for only a small chance of survival.
After relinquishing every one of my life's aspirations, the journey since has not been a recovery; it has been a resurrection. In spite of the lingering effects of the chemical and physical trauma, I focus on making life extraordinary - regardless of its length. This means rebuilding myself in order to experience the wild places, making memories of breathtaking mountain trails rather than soulless hospital beds. My goal is to live the stories we patients needed to hear while confined for months in our hospital rooms, all the while tortured by our prospects of survival. We never did hear such stories, and that must change. Moreover, all of humanity needs more true and inspiring stories, not staged versions of the real thing. We need to live our own authentic epic tale in the context of social and environmental responsibility, and make the world more civil and beautiful along the way. For this reason I am sharing my unique journey and inspiration with all who can benefit.
A few words about success: Apparently, my initial prognosis means that it is astonishingly rare to achieve my level of recovery. Needing a mentor, I asked my doctors to find anyone with my condition who had achieved what I planned. There, in one of the top treatment institutions in the world, in a metropolitan area of 7 million people, in one of the most progressive cities on the planet - they provided me with… nobody. That does not make me feel special; it makes me feel earnest. So I learned this: Modern medicine is good at making us not dead, but living is entirely up to us.